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Warrant of arrest for State witness in murder trial

By Mashudu Netsianda

The trial of a man who allegedly fatally assaulted Bulawayo City Council Assistant Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Mbuthi Gugu Mkhwananzi, after the two clashed at a girlfriend’s house, was yesterday postponed after one of the key witnesses failed to turn up.

Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo
Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo

Spencer Sithole (33) of Hillside suburb in Bulawayo allegedly punched his rival suitor Mkhwananzi several times before striking him using a dressing table and a wooden stool in April last year at the woman’s house in Four Winds.

Mkhwananzi died a few days later at Mater Dei Hospital, allegedly due to the injuries sustained as a result of the attack.

The gallery was yesterday packed as relatives came in their numbers to listen to the case, which made headlines last year.

Sithole, who is out of custody, appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Francis Bere facing a murder charge.

The matter was postponed to the second term of the High Court after State witness Ms Josephine Morrow did not attend the court session.

The judge immediately issued a warrant of arrest against Ms Morrow, who is Sithole’s ex-girlfriend and the woman at the centre of the controversy.>“The court has taken note that Josephine Morrow, a key State witness, is not in court. The matter is therefore deferred to next term and a warrant of arrest is subsequently issued against the State witness,” said Justice Bere.

Sithole’s lawyer, Mr David Mhiribidi of Mutuso, Mhiribidi and Partners, said his client was traumatised after the incident. He requested the court to allow Sithole to undergo a post-trauma clinical psychological examination.

According to State papers, on April 11 last year at around 7AM, Sithole went to Ms Morrow’s house in Four Winds suburb intending to collect his car keys.
On arrival, Sithole opened the front door of the house using spare keys and stumbled upon Mkhwananzi and Ms Morrow in bed.

The deceased was with his girlfriend when the accused person stormed into the house and found them in bed. Sithole got angry and started assaulting Mkhwananzi with fists, dressing table and a wooden stool and he sustained three fractured ribs.

Mkhwananzi fled from the house as he bled profusely through the mouth and nose.

He was taken to Mater Dei Hospital where he died three days later as a result of multiple injuries sustained during the attack.

A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of Sithole. The Chronicle