By Matabeleland North Correspondent
A 70-year-old Lupane man accused of murdering his brother has old age and swollen testicles to thank after he was given a wholly suspended sentence by a High Court judge.
Fanyana Gibson Mpala from Matshakayile area under Chief Mabhikwa fatally punched his elder brother Samuel Mpala, who was 77, after the now deceased boasted of having spiritual powers.
The two were on their way from a beer drink.
Mpala was charged with culpable homicide.
Bulawayo High Court judge, Nokuthula Moyo who is on circuit in Hwange, sentenced Mpala to a wholly suspended five-year-jail term, on condition that he would not commit a similar offence within five years.
This was after Mpala’s lawyer Charity Manyeza told the court that: “The accused is an old man who has problems with swollen privates hence throwing him in jail will be like a death penalty to him.”
The defence lawyer did not shed more light on Mpala’s health condition.
However, Justice Moyo conceded and said Mpala was in the twilight of his life and may not live to serve the jail term if given a custodial sentence.
“The deceased was the aggressor as he started the fight. The court considered your condition and old age that you are in the afternoon of your life and may not survive to serve the term hence the court sentences you to a wholly suspended five years in jail on condition of good behaviour within five years,” said Justice Moyo in her ruling this week.
Representing the State, Martha Cheda said on 21 July 2019, the Mpala brothers spent the day drinking beer at Matshakayile business centre in Lupane with other villagers.
On their way home around 8pm they had a misunderstanding over issues to do with spirit mediums and traditional beliefs as the now deceased bragged that he had better powers he had inherited from their grandfather’s magic charms.
The court heard that the now deceased punched his younger brother with a fist during the misunderstanding.
Mpala retaliated by punching his elder brother several times on the head causing him some injuries. The now deceased, who was drunk, collapsed and Mpala left him on a small path in the bush while proceeding home.
Upon reaching home, Mpala informed his son Maxwell that he had beaten his brother for being too boastful.
The court heard that Mpala, on two occasions during the night, went back to the scene of the fight to look for his brother but could not locate him.
The elder brother was found dead the following morning in a bush closer to where they had fought leading to Mpala’s arrest after a report was made to the police.