A man from Zaka has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing a man he suspected to be dating his wife.
Petros Mhidza (58) of Muparuri Village under Chief Ndanga was sentenced by Masvingo High Court Judge, Justice Garainesu Mawadze two weeks ago.
He was found guilty of killing Mhika Marufu (60) of Nemauku Village under Chief Ndanga with an axe.
Justice Mawadze refused his plea to treat the case as culpable homicide after describing the accused as a cold and an unfeeling man who left the deceased with several axe cuts on the head leading to his death.
Justice Mawadze added that this left the deceased’s wife and six-year-old child with trauma as they ran out of the house naked when Mhidza began hitting the deceased with an axe.
The court dismissed his evidence that this happened after he drank six scuds and five 250ml Soldier Vodka bottles, each with 47% alcohol content before he walked for seven kilometres to the deceased‘s house carrying an axe weighing 4.5 kg’s.
He also told the court that he remembers the exact time he left Nemauku Business Centre, arrived at his house and at the deceased house but failed to account for the time the deceased was killed.
In 2016, Mhidza suspected his wife, Annah Maria of having a sexual relationship with Marufu which resulted in a child being born a month before he expected to be a father.
Mhidza divorced his wife in 2017, a year after the child was born as he maintained that it was not his. On March 21, 2018 he left Nemauku Business Centre at around 11pm after drinking beer, went to his home and armed himself with an axe before he proceeded to the deceased’s house.
He found the door unlocked and went into the bedroom where the deceased was sleeping with his wife, Beatrice Hadzizi and child. Hadzizi woke up the deceased after seeing Mhidza. The two men fought before the deceased was overpowered and struck several times on the head with an axe leading to his death.
Hadzizi ran naked out of the room and went to hide with her son in nearby maize fields while Mhidza stormed out of the house and went to a nearby river where he washed his clothes and axe before separating it from the handle.
The body was taken to Masvingo Provincial Hospital where Doctor Godfrey Zimbwa concluded that the cause of death was severe head injuries.
“There is nothing in your testimony that suggests that you were hopelessly drunk, your defence of intoxication does not stand. You cannot wait for two years to get angry when you should have lost your temper then,” said Justice Mawadze during sentence