A 30-year-old landlord who stabbed his tenant with a knife over non-payment of utility bills was yesterday sentenced to three years in jail. Timothy Mhurushomana pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges, but the court convicted him due to overwhelming evidence. Regional magistrate Mr Temba Kuwanda sentenced Mhurushomana to six years. However, three years were conditionally suspended.
In his defence, Mhurushomana told the court that his tenant, Cephas Katanha, had provoked him. “A heated argument degenerated into a fist-fight after Katanha had provoked me,” he said.
“I injured him during the fight while trying to ward him off. I did not use a knife and I had no intention of killing him but I was just acting in self-defence.” In aggravation, the prosecutor, Ms Rufaro Mhandu, said the doctor who attended to Katanha told the court that he had lost a lot of blood and his life was hanging in the balance.
“There was no provocation warranting Mhurushomana to act in the manner that he did. He could have pursued his claim through the Civil Court instead of taking the law into his own hands.”
Katanha confronted Mhurushomana and a heated argument ensued. Two days later Mhurushomana called Katanha demanding a meeting over the unpaid bills. Katanha returned home around 11pm and retired to his room since it was late.
Before he fell asleep, Mhurushomana knocked on his door demanding to see him. Mhurushomana was in the company of his cousin, Brian Dzuro, and demanded to know why Katanha had not yet paid his bills and rent.
He asked Katanha if he was moving out and he said “yes”. This angered Mhurushomana who challenged him to a fight and Katanha told him that he was not afraid. Dzuro tried to intervene but Mhurushomana stabbed Katanha on the right thigh before punching him.
Katanga picked up a chair and flung it at Mhurushomana in a bid to stop him. However, Mhurushomana stabbed him again in the chest and he started bleeding profusely. He was rushed to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. Herald