Witch hunter jailed for cou­ple’s death

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mun­yaradzi Musi­iwa

A TSIKAMUTANDA has been slapped with a 10-year jail sen­tence for killing a Mberengwa cou­ple by mak­ing them drink a poi­sonous sub­stance while per­form­ing rit­u­als at their homestead.

Clai­tus Malunga (40) of Ndava Vil­lage un­der Chief Mposi in Mberengwa ap­peared be­fore Bu­l­awayo High Court judge, Maxwell Takuva sit­ting in Gweru fac­ing mur­der charges.

He was con­victed and sen­tenced to 10 years in prison, two of which were sus­pended on con­di­tion of good be­hav­iour.

In pass­ing the sen­tence, Jus­tice Takuva said the court treated the two mur­ders as one count.

He said the court was le­nient on the com­plainant be­cause he had pleaded guilty and had paid com­pen­sa­tion to the be­reaved fam­ily.

“You are a first of­fender and you also pleaded guilty and showed re­morse. First of­fend­ers should be kept out of cus­tody. Plea of guilty should re­duce the sen­tence. You were 33 at the time you com­mit­ted the of­fence. You have eight chil­dren and your wife is preg­nant and also hand­i­capped,” said the judge.

“You were ac­tu­ally in­vited by the two de­ceased per­sons to cleanse their homestead. That de­lay for six years in the con­clu­sion of the mat­ter re­sulted in the ac­cused per­son suf­fer­ing emo­tion­ally. You also paid six cat­tle and three goats out of con­tri­tion.”

How­ever, Jus­tice Takuva said there was neg­li­gence on the part of the tsikamutanda as the ac­cused did not test the wa­ter he used to make por­ridge on any an­i­mal be­fore us­ing it on hu­mans.

The judge said the courts are there to de­ter of­fend­ers and pro­tect the pub­lic.

“The law should pro­tect gullible masses,” he said.

The State’s case was that on Oc­to­ber 24 in 2009, the now de­ceased Mixon Zhou who was 35 years at the time of his death and his wife Lin­ear Ndlovu who was 53 then, both of Ram­bayi vil­lage un­der Chief Mposi in Mberengwa in­vited Malunga to their homestead to per­form some rit­u­als.

On ar­rival, Malunga started per­form­ing the cleans­ing cer­e­mony.

He asked Ndlovu to pre­pare some por­ridge which he went on to mix with some wa­ter-like sub­stance.

Malunga then or­dered Ndlovu and Zhou to go out­side their hut and con­sume the por­ridge as di­rected by his “spirit medium.”

Af­ter con­sum­ing the por­ridge the cou­ple re­turned to their hut.

Mo­ments af­ter Malunga left, the pair started ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some dif­fi­culty in breath­ing while vom­it­ing blood and died in­stantly.

Mr Tafadzwa Mpariwa rep­re­sented the State.

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