By Mashudu Netsianda
A Masvingo man who killed his wife’s boyfriend after he found him lying on their matrimonial bed in their rented single room in Beitbridge’s Dulivhadzimu suburb, was yesterday sentenced to 20 years in jail.
The man who was working in South Africa, had allegedly abandoned his family and suddenly resurfaced after his wife had moved on.
Clever Dhambara (39) of Nyikavanhu area fatally struck Onisimo Mudzipurwa (31) using a broken piece of a mirror on the collarbone after he found him in his bedroom wearing a pair of jogger shorts.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi convicted Dhambara of murder with constructive intent.
In his judgment, Justice Mathonsi ruled that Dhambara was the aggressor who attacked a hapless victim who was not armed.
Justice Mathonsi said Dhambara was driven by jealous to commit the offence after his wife had moved on.
“This is a man who was smitten by spikes of mortal passion who during an episode of envy and jealous took leave of his senses and vented his anger on a hapless man who had won the heart of a woman the accused regarded as his,” said the judge.
Justice Mathonsi said Dhambara belonged to a class of men who believed that a woman is a piece of chattel.
“The accused appears to belong to that class of men who believe that a woman is a piece of chattel to be owned, possessed, kept and abandoned at will by a man. These people who believe that it is their birth-right to do as they please to a woman and not allow her to terminate their relationship and move on.
“We live in a society where people are free to engage and disengage as they please because it is their constitutional right to do so,” he said.
Justice Mathonsi said the courts have the duty to uphold the sanctity of human life through passing deterrent sentences.
“It is the duty of the courts to protect the women and those that they choose to associate with. This is a crime of passion by a man who could not stomach losing his wife to someone else who was able to look after her, a feat which accused person dismally failed to perform.
“These courts have a duty to uphold the sanctity of human life through imposing a sentence that underscores that fact, and accordingly you are hereby sentenced to 20 years imprisonment,” ruled the judge.
Prosecuting, Mr Trust Muduma said on December 23 in 2015 at around 8PM, Mudzipurwa went to his girlfriend who is Dhambara’s wife, Ms Chipo Mushonga’s workplace at a sports bar in Dulivhadzimu.
He requested for keys to Ms Mushonga’ room but his girlfriend told him that she had left the keys at her sister’s place.
The court heard that Mudzipurwa went to Ms Mushonga’s rented house and gained entry into her bedroom through an open window.
“On the same day at around 9.30PM, the accused person who had already collected the keys to their room from his sister- in- law proceeded to the house,” said Mr Muduma.
On arrival, Dhambara met his wife in the corridor just as she walked in from work.
The accused person unlocked the door and found Mudzipurwa lying on their matrimonial bed.
Dhambara confronted his wife before assaulting her and she fled to her sister’s house with the accused pursuing her.
Dhambara’s sister- in- law, Ms Tadirai Mushonga intervened and restrained him from further assaulting his wife.
“When Dhambara returned home, he found Mudzipurwa still lying on the bed and he confronted him and the two exchanged harsh words,” said Mr Muduma.
The altercation degenerated into a fight during which Dhambara picked a broken piece of a mirror that was lying on a kitchen cabinet and stabbed Mudzipurwa once on the right collarbone.
Mudzipurwa bolted out of the room with blood gushing out of the wound and he collapsed a few metres away from the crime scene.
A female motorist saw Mudzipurwa lying by the roadside and she rushed him to a police station before taking him to Beitbridge District Hospital where he died an hour later.
A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of Dhambara at his friend’s house where he was hiding. In mitigation through his lawyer, Mr Vezokuhle Ndlovu of Mlweli Ndlovu and Associates, Dhambara pleaded for leniency, saying he was willing to reform if given a chance so that he takes care of his two minor children.The Chronicle