Drug addict son jailed 15 years for strangling mother to death 

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By Staff Reporter

A 22-year-old Shepherd Chitsa from Chegutu has been jailed for 15 years for strangling his 60-year-old mother to death for allegedly concealing information regarding his father’s whereabouts.

The subject, the court heard, was an emotional one to the late Melania Matambura who was abandoned by her husband when she was still pregnant with Chitsa, her last born.

Her husband’s whereabouts are unknown to date.

Mystery however surrounds Matambura’s death after she was found with her middle finger amputated, pointing to a possible ritual murder.

The investigating officer failed to collect crucial evidence timeously making it difficult for courts to conclude if the murder was ritual driven.

On the other hand, Chitsa was a known drug addict who still exhibits the effects of prolonged drug abuse.

When the murder took place, Chitsa was alone with his mother at their place of residence in Chegutu as such there was not a single witness who saw the crime being committed.

Undisputed facts are that incidences of domestic violence against the deceased were a permanent feature of their household, each time Chitsa took the prohibited drug, Bronclear.

“It was either the accused’s drug-induced voracious appetite or his quest to get answers from the deceased about his father’s identity and whereabouts.

“In most instances, it was a combination of both,” said prosecutors.

On the fateful day, Chitsa after spending the whole morning revelling in the illegal substance, confronted the deceased over his father’s whereabouts once again.

This contentious and detested topic led the deceased to remonstrate Chitsa with a small wooden stick.

From Chitsa’s own words, the deceased’s reaction prompted him to strangle her with both hands to death.

Chitsa did not deny throttling his mother to death on the day and time in question but claims ignorance of what took place thereafter.

He adverts that he was under the heavy influence of the habit-forming drug, ‘Bronco’ which impaired his mental state and inhibitions, though he vividly recalled and chronologically narrated the incident in detail up to date.

To the police, he said he planned the killing to get the index finger for a ritual get-rich scheme, as instructed by a traditional healer.

He later denied that, insisting he was coerced to say that.

In coming up with a sentence the High Court said Chitsa genuinely wanted to elicit information about his father from the deceased who shunned the subject at every turn.

“Against this background, it cannot safely be concluded that the accused person had actual intention to kill the deceased

“Intoxication affected his rational thought and powers of self-restraint.

The court considered that Chitsa failed to accept his father’s desertion and lack of love and ties with him for a good twenty years.

“In addition, the manner in which the accused throttled his mother, the deceased is deplorable.

“He watched her struggle but did not bring himself to release his deadly grip

“He enjoyed watching her fight to breathe until she could not struggle any more like in a horror movie. It seems like from his recount he was enjoying the show,” said the judge.

The court in conclusion said the presumptive sentence of murder with constructive intent is 20 years.

“That be as it may, in light of the accused’s unique circumstances evinced from his mitigation and pre-sentencing report, the court is of the view that twenty years will not meet the justice of this case.

“He is an apparent drug addict still exhibiting side effects of prolonged drug abuse.

“He is definitely in need of rehabilitation. He poses a danger to himself and society if he is let loose into society.

“The court has also deductively taken into account his youthfulness and the two-year pre-trial incarceration stint, amongst other factors examined herein.

“Taking all the factors of this case holistically and striking a balance between the mitigation and aggravation features, the interests of the accused, the victim and the society, the accused is sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment,” ruled the judge.