Eswatini refugee freed after strangling sister (9) to death

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By Staff Reporter

Mutare: AN ESwatini refugee stationed at Tongogara Refugee Camp, who chocked and killed her sister to death during a 2013 church ceremony, walked out of Mutare High Court a free woman after medical reports confirmed she had a mental disorder when she committed the offence.

This was after Judith Mupelefuraha Mulumba, who was represented by Mutare lawyer Hugo Tanaya, had appeared before Mutare High Court judge Hlekani Mwayera facing murder charges.

Through her defence counsel, Mulumba denied the charges saying she did not intentionally kill her nine year old sister but had a mental disorder when she committed the offence.

Mwayera said medical report produced by a registered medical practitioner, specialist psychiatrist Dr Walter Mangezi confirmed that Mulumba had a mental disorder when he committed the crime.

The lawyer stated that mental disorder manifested by being talkative, excessively reading the bible in a manner out of character and also physically aggressive.

The judge said with the report submitted by the specialist, the suspect could not be said to have had the requisite intention to carry out the murder.

Mwayera also said the accused responded well to the medicine for mental disorder administered since 2013 after she was granted bail in 2014.

“When the suspect re-appeared in court, she impressed the court as an individual who was appreciating the proceedings.

“The suspect tendered a plea of not guilty to the charge and given the history of mental instability, we accessed the request by respective State and defence counsel to retain a special verdict of not guilty because of insanity.

“The accused is released to go and stay with her family at her official residence at Tongogara Refugee camp,” ruled Justice Mwayera, adding, that background information clearly portrays that the suspect is no longer a danger to herself and members of the community.

“She does, in our considered view, require further institutionalisation as a protective measure for herself and society at large,” she added.

According to the state, on June 14 2013 at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge, Mulumba under the exercise of exorcising demons, strangled and chocked Kubota Mupelefuraha Mulumba to death.

Prosecutor Janerose Matsikidze told the court that on the fateful day, after a church service, the suspect started praying for the deceased.

She reportedly mounted the deceased and inserted her fingers in the mouth and chocked her to death at the same time vigorously shaking her head.

The witnesses in attendance also tried to stop her but failed. She was arrested and subsequently appeared in court.

The State and defence came up with a statement of agreed facts and sought court to proceed in terms of section 29 Mental Health Act Chapter.