A 31-year-old Harare man, Vincent Mutema, escaped a lengthy jail term by a whisker after he was acquitted on a charge of attempting to kill his old-time college friend, Edmore Chikomba.
On Thursday, Mutema walked out of court a free man after regional magistrate Clever Tsikwa ruled there was not enough evidence to secure Mutema’s conviction on a charge of attempted murder.
The two men attended Solusi University together and were friends before their relationship turned sour sometime in January 2008.
The incident which nearly turned fatal occurred when Mutema got wind that Chikomba was attempting to snatch his wife.
Mutema told regional magistrate Tsikwa that on the day in question, Chikomba sent a text message to Mutema’s wife urging her to dump her husband and spend time with him.
This was after Chikomba clandestinely obtained Mutema’s wife’s phone number when Mutema was dictating the digits over the phone to his wife’s cousin.
The drama occurred when the two men were in Chikomba’s house discussing business.
“When I went home my wife told me she had received text messages from Chikomba. The first one suggested that she should leave me and the second one said he (Chikomba) was serious about her and wanted to meet her over lunch,” Chikomba told the court.
After receiving a report from his wife, he called Chikomba and asked him about the issue, but Chikomba invited Mutema to his house where Chikomba locked the doors, after he stepped inside.
“I did not know that he locked the door when I entered. After a while I asked him what was going on pertaining to the messages I had seen, but he just laughed and called me a fool.
“He said it was common between young men (to snatch each other’s wives),” said Mutema.
He refuted the State’s allegations that he attacked Chikomba on the head with a shifting spanner and also choked him.
Mutema told the court that Chikomba injured himself when he charged towards him.
He said Chikomba jumped at him, trying to headbutt him but he dodged him and he hit against a wall cabinet sustaining a deep cut to the head.