Crime and Courts

Drug addict son, ch0kes mother to d3@th

A 22-year-old Shepherd Chitsa from Chegutu has been jailed for 15 years for str@ngling his 60-year-old mother to d3ath for allegedly concealing information regarding his father’s whereabouts.

The subject, the court heard, was an emotional one to the late Melania Matambura who was abandoned by her husband when she was still pr3gnant with Chitsa, her last born.

Mystery however surrounds Matambura’s d3ath after she was found with her middle finger amputated, pointing to a possible ritual m_rder.

The investigating officer failed to collect crucial evidence timeously making it difficult for courts to conclude if the murder was ritual driven.

On the other hand, Chitsa was a known dr_g addict who still exhibits the effects of prolonged dr_g @buse.

When the murder took place, Chitsa was alone with his mother at their place of residence in Chegutu as such there was not a single witness who saw the crime being committed.

Undisputed facts are that incidences of domestic v!olence against the deceased were a permanent feature of their household, each time Chitsa took the prohibited dr+g, Bronclear.

“It was either the accused’s dr+g-induced voracious appetite or his quest to get answers from the deceased about his father’s identity and whereabouts.

“In most instances, it was a combination of both,” said prosecutors.

On the fateful day, Chitsa after spending the whole morning revelling in the illegal substance, confronted the deceased over his father’s whereabouts once again.

This contentious and detested topic led the deceased to remonstrate Chitsa with a small wooden stick.

From Chitsa’s own words, the deceased’s reaction prompted him to str@ngle her with both hands to d3ath.

Chitsa did not deny throttling his mother to d3ath on the day and time in question but claims ignorance of what took place thereafter.

He adverts that he was under the heavy influence of the habit-forming drug, ‘Bronco’ which impaired his mental state and inhibitions, though he vividly recalled and chronologically narrated the incident in detail up to date.

To the police, he said he planned the k!lling to get the index finger for a ritual get-rich scheme, as instructed by a traditional healer.

He later denied that, insisting he was coerced to say that.

In coming up with a sentence the High Court said Chitsa genuinely wanted to elicit information about his father from the deceased who shunned the subject at every turn.

“Against this background, it cannot safely be concluded that the accused person had actual intention to k!ll the deceased

“Intoxication affected his rational thought and powers of self-restraint.

The court considered that Chitsa failed to accept his father’s desertion and lack of love and ties with him for a good twenty years.

“In addition, the manner in which the accused throttled his mother, the deceased is deplorable.

“He watched her struggle but did not bring himself to release his d3adly grip

“He enjoyed watching her f!ght to breathe until she could not struggle any more like in a horror movie. It seems like from his recount he was enjoying the show,” said the judge.

The court in conclusion said the presumptive sentence of m_rder with constructive intent is 20 years.

“That be as it may, in light of the accused’s unique circumstances evinced from his mitigation and pre-sentencing report, the court is of the view that twenty years will not meet the justice of this case.

“He is an apparent dr+g addict still exhibiting side effects of prolonged dr+g @buse.

“He is definitely in need of rehabilitation. He poses a danger to himself and society if he is let loose into society.

“The court has also deductively taken into account his youthfulness and the two-year pre-trial incarceration stint, amongst other factors examined herein.

“Taking all the factors of this case holistically and striking a balance between the mitigation and aggravation features, the interests of the accused, the victim and the society, the accused is sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment,” ruled the judge.


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