By Tendai Gukutikwa
An Odzi woman was slapped with an 18-month jail term for attacking her co-wife, accusing her of causing problems in their polygamous marriage. Loice Mwaramba (42) appeared before Mutare senior magistrate Mr Innocent Bepura on physical abuse charges as defined in Section 3 (1) (a) of the Domestic Violence Act Chapter 5: 16.
Mwaramba was convicted on her own guilty plea. Mr Fletcher Karombe prosecuted. The court heard that on November 6, 2017 at around 4pm the complainant, Alice Fistara, was working in her field when Mwaramba approached her.
Mwaramba started accusing Fistara of influencing their husband not to give her money to fend for herself and her children.
Fistara tried to exonerate herself, but Mwaramba would have none of it. Mwaramba then snatched a hoe Fistara was using and started assaulting her with the handle. A passer-by came to Fistara’s rescue and stopped Mwaramba from further assaulting her.
“My husband has not been giving me money to look after our six children and I knew that she was the one poisoning him against me,” said Mwaramba in court. That is why I attacked her.”
Mr Bepura told Mwaramba that cases of domestic violence were on the rise and from the results of the medical report, the Fistara suffered serious injuries and hence a harsh sentence was the most appropriate.
The court also took into consideration that Mwaramba was a first time offender who did not waste the court’s time by denying the charges and that she was a mother of six.
Of the 18 months sentence, six were suspended on condition that Mwaramba does not commit the same offence for the next five years, while the remaining 12 months were suspended on condition that she completes 420 hours of community service at Maple Primary School.