A MUREWA man has been slapped with the death penalty after murdering his seven-year-old daughter in 2017 as he sought to evade paying $30 maintenance.
Charles Kavhumbura has been committed to custody while awaiting his execution for strangling his daughter to death.
In his ruling, High Court judge Tawanda Chitapi noted that although debate on the death sentence was still topical, it would be applied guided by the Constitution.
“The discretionary power to impose the death penalty should be exercised judiciously and reasonably lest the exercise may turn out to be arbitrary and capricious…In as much the convict will have subtracted from society one of its members, the court when imposing the death penalty seeks that society should, again using the law, consume one of its own on account of having killed another,” Chitapi said.
Kavhumbura said he had murdered the child to lessen the burden of paying maintenance which had been granted at $30 per month for three of his children with his ex-wife Pedzisai Kachepa.
“The accused killed the child in order to avoid a lawful maintenance obligation imposed by a court of law. Such conduct naturally offends one’s sense of justice and increases the level of moral blameworthiness which is attached to the accused’s conduct,” Chitapi said.
The State proved that on October 14, 2017, around 10 am, the now deceased, Rufaro, went to her father’s grinding mill with her sibling, Tanaka.
The court heard that Kavhumbura told his daughter to return by herself.
When she returned, Kavhumbura strangled his daughter and carried her lifeless body to a pond where he intended to dump it.
However, when he got to the pond and placed the body on the ground the girl stood up, but was very weak and Kavhumbura strangled her again until he was sure that she was dead.
After dumping his daughter’s body into the pond, he then went back home. The girl’s mother went to Kavhumbura’s residence looking for her, but he professed ignorance about her whereabouts.
The body was later discovered by children who had gone to drink water at the pond and police were alerted.
Kavhumbura then called one James Butau, a traditional healer to assist him to appease his deceased daughter’s avenging spirit.