Brothers jailed 44yrs for killing in-law
TWO brothers from Plumtree who teamed up and killed their brother-in-law using a hammer and an empty beer bottle during a fight, were yesterday each sentenced to 22 years in jail.
Girtfibion Ntuthuko Moyo (22) and his brother Mduduzi (35), both of Nxele, were convicted of murder with constructive intent by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Francis Bere in connection with the death of Lovemore Moyo who was aged 29.
In his judgment, Justice Bere said although the brothers had consumed alcohol, it was clear from their actions that they knew what they were doing when they assaulted Sibanda.
“The two accused persons’ behaviour clearly shows that they were in full control of their faculties despite having been drinking beer. They ambushed Sibanda and struck him with a beer bottle with such force that he fell down before they took turns to recklessly attack him using a hammer,” he said.
In passing sentence, Justice Bere said the two men deserved a lengthy prison term for killing Sibanda in a callous manner.
“We are concerned that there is no indication that the accused persons were remorseful for their conduct. They butchered the deceased in a callous manner and intoxication must never be used as a cover up for such a horrendous crime in which a life was needlessly lost,” he said.
The judge said the courts have a duty to protect the sanctity of human life through passing deterrent sentences. “We urge people to respect the sanctity of human life. The two accused persons should be sentenced to a lengthy period of incarceration and accordingly you are each sentenced to 22 years in jail,” ruled Justice Bere.
Prosecuting, Mr Thompson Hove said on December 19, 2015 shortly after midnight, Girtfibion and Sibanda were drinking beer at Masasa Bottle Store at Nxele Business Centre when a misunderstanding arose between the two.
Mr Hove said Girtfibion violently grabbed Sibanda’s collar and the deceased’s wife intervened to stop the fight. About 30 minutes later, Girtfibion and Mduduzi met Sibanda on a footpath near the business centre and Sibanda was carrying a hammer. “Mduduzi hit the deceased with a beer bottle on the face and he fell down and dropped the hammer. Girtfibion picked the hammer and hit Sibanda several times on the face and ribs resulting in his death,” said Mr Hove.
Girtfibion took the blood stained hammer to his home where he hid on the roof of his bedroom.
In their defence, Girtfibion and Mduduzi, through their lawyers, Mr Thabani Matshakaile of Lazarus and Sarif Legal Practitioners and Tanaka Muganyi of Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga and Partners, argued that they acted in self defence.
They said Sibanda accosted them as they were coming from a beer drink during which a fight ensued. They pleaded for leniency, saying they acted in a spur of the moment. — @mashnets