By Staff Reporter
A Masvingo-based school teacher has been fined $300 by a High Court judge after he mistakenly killed his friend who is also a teacher as they were fighting two other men in 2013.
Fredrick Chifadza, aged 35, appeared before Justice Joseph Mafusire facing two charges; one of murdering Charles Kudubva and attempted murder on Kudakwashe Musvamhuri at Cherechere Business Centre in Zaka, Masvingo in October 2013.
Chifadza and Kudubva, who were friends and professional colleagues, were drinking beer at a rural bottle store when they were midnight involved in an altercation with Musvamhiri and his brother, one Kizito, leading to a fist-fight.
During the scuffle, Chifadza picked up a two-metre wooden log weighing some 4kg intending to strike Musvamhuri.
However, the blow caught Kudubva on the forehead after Musvamhuri had managed to duck it.
Kudubva collapsed and died on the way to hospital.
Chifadza was arrested and appeared before Justice Mafusire facing two charges of murder and attempted murder.
However, during trial, the State conceded that Chifadza could not be found guilty of murder as he had no actual intent to kill the deceased.
In his ruling, Justice Mafusire said there was no need to hand Chifadza with a custodial sentence as Kudubva had died while the two teachers were trying to ward off a common enemy.
“There was nothing like premeditation or planning in the commission of the crime,” ruled Justice Mafusire.
“It happened on the spur-of-the-moment in an effort to ward off a common enemy. The accused and the deceased had gone to the bottle together to enjoy themselves, not to look for trouble.”
The judge said Chifadza was a first offender and he had been a law abiding citizen for much of his life.
“As much as possible, such people should be kept out of jail. He has two wives and four minor children. They all look up to him for maintenance and support. Any period of incarceration will inevitably result in much hardship to such dependents.
“He is a trained teacher of relative experience. Jail will undoubtedly cost him his job. Jobs being scarce, chances of getting another after time in prison will be slim,” Justice Mafusire said before fining him $300.