Man caged 23 years for killing stepson

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By Mary Taruvinga

HIGH Court Judge, Justice Ammy Tsanga has slapped a Shamva man with a 23-year jail term for fatally stabbing his stepson on allegations of interfering with his polygamous marriage.

Shandahore Sibanda was convicted after a full trial in which he denied the allegations saying charges against him were fabricated despite the fact that his late stepson Mverani Mbawazi was found with a stab wound in his chest.

The court heard, Sibanda who had several wives was in the habit of assaulting them and on the day in question he had attacked Mbawazi’s mother before the late intervened.

It was proved that Sibanda swore that he was going to kill someone that day and that he would deal with anyone who intervenes with his polygamy issues.

The court heard on June 1, 2018, Mbawazi and his brother-in-law, Stewart Mupepa had spent the better part of the night drinking before they retired home.

When the two retired to bed, they decided to pass through the accused’s place of residence after learning that his brother Peter John also had an altercation with Sibanda earlier that day.

Prosecutors allege that when they arrived at the homestead, they found the accused seated outside before the deceased carried him inside the house upon realising that he was too drunk.

Mbawazi and Mupepa then left together with John but before they went very far they heard Sibanda insulting his first wife Merenia John and rushed back.

A misunderstanding then arose between Sibanda and Mbawazi.

The court heard, Mupepa left to call his wife so that she can restrain her father.

Sibanda’s second wife also left the room leaving the two still fighting.

When they all came back they found Mbawazi already dead with blood oozing from his chest.

Sibanda allegedly tried to run away but was apprehended before he was arrested.

Although he denied allegations the court heard his clothes were soiled with blood an indication that he had attacked the now deceased.

“The background to the events that unfolded that night in our view emerged from the evidentiary testimony of Peter John,” said Tsanga in her judgement.

“He put in context the accused as an aggrieved man who had already unleashed violence and threatened violence that day over any interference in his polygamous relationship. Whilst he did not witness the actual stabbing, he was outside. we do believe his evidence that the accused immediately tried to escape once the deceased had been pushed outside and that when he chased after him, the accused instead started chasing after him.

“We have no reason not to disbelieve him,” said Tsanga before she sentenced Sibanda.