A SENIOR marriage officer in the Registrar General’s office has been jailed for three years for bludgeoning his wife with an axe.
Gordon Tsuro, 50, who was based at Makombe Bulding in Harare, was lucky to escape with a lighter sentence after the magistrate changed the charges to assault from the initial attempted murder.
Tsuro’s lawyer, Norman Chigiya, appealed to the court to impose a fine saying his client was the bread-winner and had recently remarried but failed to sway the court.
“All his children look up to him for survival and if he is locked away they will suffer,” Chigiya said.
But Harare magistrate, William Bhila, said a custodial sentence was needed to serve as a deterrent.
"Domestic violence is a serious offense which is socially unacceptable" he said.
"Wife bashers and those aspiring to be should take note of the fact that the courts will not tolerate that and justice will prevail.”
Prosecutors said the assault occurred on the night of May 16 last year when Tsuro and his wife, Rosemary Charlie, had a misunderstanding over documents relating to a residential stand she was developing.
Charlie said her husband wanted to change the ownership into his name but she resisted saying they should be legally married first. An argument ensued resulting in a confrontation which nearly turned fatal.
The court heard that after the couple had retired to bed around 20:40 Tsuro requested Charlie to give him a document for her residential stand which was still under development.
Charlie is said to have told Tsuro the document was at her workplace, but he insisted that he wanted it immediately. Tsuro then lifted the bed, drew an axe from underneath and ordered Charlie to sit down.
Shecomplied and Tsuro lifted the axe intending to strike her on the head, but she blocked the axe with her arms and was struck in the palms in the process.
Tsuro then used the axe and its handle to strike Charlie once on the head, several times on her legs and all over the body.
Charlie was later rescued by their landlord who assisted in ferrying her to Chitungwiza General Hospital.
However, in his defense outline Tsuro claimed that Charlie provoked him first. He accused her of having an affair with and claimed that on the night in question she had been dropped off by the boyfriend.
Tsuro said the argument was about her infidelity and scathing remarks which were made by Charlie. She allegedly ridiculed his manhood saying he was lousy in bed and was only good at eating food.
She also allegedly told him her her boyfriend was a far better lover than Tsuro and that she was only sticking around for the sake of the children.
The case sparked demonstrations against the increase in gender-based violence with various women’s groups demanding stiffer sentences against men who abuse their spouses.