30 years behind bars for man who butchered workmate in front of his wife and minor children


A GOLD panner will spend 30 years behind bars for the murder of a man following a dispute over payment for two grammes of gold.

Divine Chirisa and a colleague who is still on the run ambushed Smart Kamupira at his homestead at Elisha village under Chief Nechombo in Mudzi and killed him in cold blood in front of his wife and minor children.

Chirisa denied the murder of Mr Kamupira when his trial opened at the High Court last year. But Justice Munamato Mutevedzi sitting with assessors Mr Barwa and Mr Gwatiringa, convicted Chirisa after the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

He slapped him with 30 years’ imprisonment. In passing the lengthy sentence, Justice Mutevedzi also took into account the victim impact statement filed by the deceased’s wife. The wife narrated that her life basically went upside down as a result of this murder.

It not only took away the family’s breadwinner but traumatised the family. She said her husband was murdered in her presence and that of the children. The family had to abandon its homestead soon after he was killed in fear that more attacks could be perpetrated on them and the court accepted that this fear could be realistic.

It was the court’s view that Chirisa’s accomplice is still out there and the possibility of him coming to attack the deceased’s family cannot be discounted with certainty.

“At the moment the deceased’s widow and his children have had to endure the ignominy of being dependent on the deceased’s relatives for their livelihoods,” said Justice Mutevedzi.

“All said and done, the court’s conclusion is that this was a gruesome murder, a bad murder.”

The judge, however, noted that Chirisa was still young and was someone in whom the court could not entirely lose hope.

“He may serve some useful purpose in society if given another opportunity,” he said.

“It is for that reason that the court would not see any benefit derivable from the death sentence or from life imprisonment.

“Instead a determinate jail term which illustrates the court and society’s displeasure at the heinous crime which he committed will meet the justice of the case.”

The court heard that on March 22, 2021, Chirisa and his friend ambushed Kamupira at his homestead ostensibly to follow up on payment for two grammes of gold which they had given to him.

Kamupira had no money to give them and Chirisa and his accomplice demanded, in lieu of the money, a bucketful of marijuana.

When Kamupira failed to meet their demand they struck him repeatedly on the head with a wooden axe handle and forced a knife between his teeth.

Kamupira’s wife escaped to seek help from his brother. When the brother returned in the company of neighbours, it was too late as Chirisa and his accomplice had already fled leaving Kamupira lying mortally wounded in his bedroom.

His young children were with him, possibly completely traumatised by the events to the extent of being oblivious that their father was struggling through his final moments. Herald.

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