By Staff Reporter
A ZAKA bar owner who slapped a patron once on the face resulting in the death of the man six days later has escaped a lengthy custodial sentence after a high Court judge acquitted him on murder charges.
Wright Masunda (49) is singing praises to his gods when he was instead convicted of a lesser offence of assault when the matter was heard before Justice Mawadze.
He was then sentenced to 30 days imprisonment with an option of paying a $200 fine.
Court heard that on 31 July last year, Masunda, who owns Skippers bar at Rudhanda business center in Zaka, was drinking beer together with the now deceased Tarirai Chikona.
Court was further told that Chikona started harassing other patrons and was warned by the owner about his actions but he ignored them.
Angered by the patron’s behaviour, Masunda then dragged the now deceased outside the bar and slapped him with an open hand once on the face and he fell down.
Court was told Chikona later stood up and continued with his drinking in another bar within the same business centre but was complaining of a severe headache.
It was further said that the now deceased was taken to Musiso hospital the following morning where he was admitted for six days but his health worsened.
He was later transferred to Masvingo provincial hospital and died on his way.
In his defence, through his lawyer Knowledge Mabvuure of Chihambakwe Law Firm, Masunda argued that he only slapped the deceased once and that could not have caused the death.
He also said that even the post-mortem report produced in court did not attribute the death to assault and that there were other possibilities which could have led to his death since the now deceased rose to his feet after being slapped and continued drinking beer with others in a different bar.
The post-mortem report showed that Chikona’s death was caused by “subdural haemorrhage, sever skull contusion and head trauma” in unclear circumstances.