Life in jail for man who killed, chopped dad as son (3) watched

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Than­deka Moyo

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.

Cer­tain Moyo

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