A TSIKAMUTANDA has been slapped with a 10-year jail sentence for killing a Mberengwa couple by making them drink a poisonous substance while performing rituals at their homestead.
Claitus Malunga (40) of Ndava Village under Chief Mposi in Mberengwa appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge, Maxwell Takuva sitting in Gweru facing murder charges.
He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison, two of which were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
In passing the sentence, Justice Takuva said the court treated the two murders as one count. He said the court was lenient on the complainant because he had pleaded guilty and had paid compensation to the bereaved family.
“You are a first offender and you also pleaded guilty and showed remorse. First offenders should be kept out of custody. Plea of guilty should reduce the sentence. You were 33 at the time you committed the offence. You have eight children and your wife is pregnant and also handicapped,” said the judge.
However, Justice Takuva said there was negligence on the part of the tsikamutanda as the accused did not test the water he used to make porridge on any animal before using it on humans.
The judge said the courts are there to deter offenders and protect the public. “The law should protect gullible masses,” he said.
The State’s case was that on October 24 in 2009, the now deceased Mixon Zhou who was 35 years at the time of his death and his wife Linear Ndlovu who was 53 then, both of Rambayi village under Chief Mposi in Mberengwa invited Malunga to their homestead to perform some rituals.
On arrival, Malunga started performing the cleansing ceremony. He asked Ndlovu to prepare some porridge which he went on to mix with some water-like substance.
Malunga then ordered Ndlovu and Zhou to go outside their hut and consume the porridge as directed by his “spirit medium.”
After consuming the porridge the couple returned to their hut. Moments after Malunga left, the pair started experiencing some difficulty in breathing while vomiting blood and died instantly.
Mr Tafadzwa Mpariwa represented the State. Chronicle