By Erica Jecha
A psychiatric inmate at Chikurubi Maximum Prison allegedly murdered a colleague by striking him with a hoe on the head and face several times following a misunderstanding in 2019, court heard on Wednesday.
Rapheus Mandiko (31) appeared for trial commencement before High Court Judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi.
Mandiko pleaded not guilty, arguing that he does not remember committing the crime.
The High Court reserved judgement.
Mandiko argued that he is a mental health patient, and was not in a right state of mind on the day he committed the crime.
According to the State, Mandiko was detained in Chikurubi Maximum Prison Psychiatric Unit.
It is the State’s case that on the fateful night of September 21, 2019, the prisoner smuggled a hoe into his cell from the storeroom during the day and wrapped it up in a blanket.
The court heard that during the night, Mandiko took the hoe and approached Tapiwa Nduna’s cell and attacked him, threatening other inmates who tried to intervene.
Court heard the now-deceased became unconscious after the savage attack.
Mandiko then allegedly took a rope and tied the late’s feet and shouted ‘Ndamupedzera (I have finished with him).
He is alleged to have told all inmates to be quiet and spent the night walking up and down the corridor carrying the hoe.
Postmortem showed that Nduna suffered brain injury and severe head trauma.