HWANGE: A Binga man has been jailed five years for hitting his cousin to death with a fist in a fight over a chicken.
Makhandeni Lovemore Dube, aged 30, from Sianungu Village will however serve an effective four years after Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Martin Makonese, who is on circuit in Hwange conditionally suspended one year.
Dube denied murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of culpable homicide.
The incident occurred on August 31 last year when Dube unleashed a single blow that collapsed his cousin Sibangani Muzamba, 34, as the two walked to a nearby shopping centre.
Both were sozzled after drinking traditional beer at a local homestead where they were thatching a house.
The court was told that Dube had borrowed a chicken from his cousin Muzamba who, on the day in question, asked for his money. It is not clear how much the chicken had been sold for.
“The now deceased demanded his money and the accused told him that he didn’t have and will give him on a later date,” said prosecutor Memory Munsaka.
“A misunderstanding arose when one Godfrey Tshuma came asking for a dollar and was given by the accused, prompting the deceased to complain that his cousin was pretending not to have money when he could give some to Tshuma.”
While sentencing Dube, the Justice Makonese said: “The court considers that both the accused and deceased were intoxicated when the offence was committed.
“In aggravation the accused’s moral blameworthiness is very high and his conduct deplorable as he acted irrationally and used excessive force on the deceased over a simple chicken.”
Court heard that after hitting Muzamba, Dube tried to render first aid by pouring water on him to no avail. Muzamba died, resulting in the arrest of Dube.
Joyline Change of Mvhiringi and Partners represented Dube.