Life in jail for man who killed, chopped dad as son (3) watched
A MAN from Plumtree who axed his elderly father to death and chopped the body into pieces before burying it in a cave while his son (3) watched, has been sentenced to life in prison.
Certain Moyo (26) from Malisikwana Village connived with his wife and killed his father, Siphoko Moyo, who was 77-yearsold at the time of his death in 2014. The wife, Patience Mabhena, reportedly fled to South Africa. Certain was angry after his father scolded him for selling cattle belonging to the old man.
Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Martin Makonese yesterday convicted him of murder with actual intent, saying he was appalled by the callous manner in which Certain killed his father.
The judge said it was inhumane for Certain to let his son watch him killing the old man as the boy was subjected to the added trauma of having to testify against his own father.
“In arriving at the judgement, we considered that the State depended solely on the evidence of accused’s now five-year-old son. Though the courts understand that such witnesses must be treated with caution, we accept that his clear testimony is the correct narration of what happened when his father killed his grandfather,” said Justice Makonese.
Siphoko Moyo’s remains were only found and retrieved from the cave on January 17 this year after a villager who was hunting for rock rabbits spotted his clothes and alerted police.
Certain’s son opened the State case on Tuesday before Justice Makonese and confirmed that his father had killed his grandfather with an axe. “My father took an axe and struck my grandfather on the head. I saw him put my grandfather in a wheelbarrow before placing him in a cave near a hill,” said the boy in camera. “The wheelbarrow was full of blood. Dad washed the blood stained wheelbarrow”. The court heard how the late Moyo’s wife had at one time threatened to spear the old man after he noted that both Certain and his mother were selling his cattle without his consent. One of Siphoko Moyo’s granddaughters, Ms Priscilla Moyo, said there was bad blood between Certain and his father. “When my grandfather disappeared, my grandmother and uncle Certain consulted a traditional healer who told them he was killed after a botched cattle deal on his way to Bulawayo. Before the incident, he (Siphoko) had complained that uncle Certain was selling his cattle,” she said.
Siphoko Moyo’s friend, Mr Thambo Ncube, told Justice Makonese that Certain and his mother did not bother making a report when they discovered Moyo was missing.
“My friend was unhappy when he suspected that his son had stolen and sold his four head of cattle. He even confided in me that his wife tried to kill him with a spear over a misunderstanding,” said Mr Ncube.
He added that the late Moyo had hinted that if he died, Certain and his wife would be responsible.
In defence, Certain said he did not know what happened to his father.
“I know nothing about my father’s death and this is the first time I am hearing my son allege that I killed my own father. I did not kill him,” he said.
When Justice Makonese asked why Certain’s own son would lie against him, he claimed someone fed the boy with lies.
“This is not the first time this boy has alleged that I axed my father first and hid him in the caves. He actually told me that our neighbours told him that story so I know he cannot be telling the truth”, said Certain.
Ms Nokuthaba Ngwenya for the State said on August 14, 2014 at around 9AM, Moyo left his homestead carrying a black bag.
“On arrival at the cattle pens, he called Certain who charged towards him armed with an axe. He then struck him once on the head and shoulder and Moyo died instantly,” said Ms Ngwenya.
“Certain got help from his wife and they put the body in a wheelbarrow. They placed it in a cave while their son aged threeyears-old was standing about three metres away.”— @thamamoe.