By Patrick Chitumba
Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi yesterday sentenced a Gweru caretaker to 12 years in prison for fatally attacking a car washer with a metal pipe over an outstanding water bill.
Justice Mathonsi who is on circuit in Gweru, convicted Guide Nicholas Takavarasha of house number 5033 Mkoba 15 suburb of murder with actual intent.
Takavarasha (63), who was a caretaker and panel beater at the premises from where the now deceased Trevor Gezana (29) also operated, had pleaded not guilty to murder.
Justice Mathonsi however found him guilty of the savage attack that resulted in Gezana’s death.
The court heard that after committing the crime, Takavarasha drank poison in a bid to kill himself but was quickly rushed to hospital where he was treated.
Justice Mathonsi said Gezana suffered severe skull fracture and bled from the nose, mouth and ears after Takavarasha battered him with a metal pipe as he lay helpless on the ground.
“After committing the crime, the accused as a sign of confusion or regret took some poison. He said he had exchanged harsh and unprintable words with the deceased. It may appear like you had harboured a grudge against the deceased. You exhibited some recklessness in your conduct and took away the life of a person and it was uncalled for and you are sentenced to 12 years in prison,” said justice Mathonsi.
Prosecutor, Mr Mirirai Shumba said on November 11 last year in the morning, Takavarasha engaged the deceased and his workmates over a car whose engine had failed to start.
“At the centre of that discussion was the issue of non-payment of water bills wherein the deceased indicated to the accused that payment was going to be effected the following day. The accused left for his room and returned shortly thereafter holding three metal pipes and ordered the deceased and his workmates to settle the water bill that very day,” he said.
The court heard that the deceased reminded Takavarasha that someone was already at the bank to withdraw the money to settle the water bill.
“It is then that the accused delivered a blow to the deceased with a metal pipe. The deceased fell to the ground and became unconscious.
“The accused was dispossessed of the metal pipe and proceeded to pick another metal pipe and approached the deceased who was lying on the ground unconscious and delivered four more blows that landed on the elbow and back of the head.
“The deceased bled from the mouth, nose and ears and died soon after,” he said.
Mr Shumba said Takavarasha went and drank poison after killing Gezana but was rushed to the hospital where he was treated, discharged and arrested. The Chronicle