A Zanu PF supporter who inflicted fatal injuries in an unprovoked attack on an MDC supporter has been sentenced to death by hanging.
Norman Sibanda, of Tohwe Village in Nkayi, struck Zenzo Maphosa (44) with a log and fractured his skull.
Maphosa battled for life for 29 days in the Intensive Care Unit of Bulawayo’s Mpilo Hospital following the June 7 2003 attack.
Bulawayo High Court judge Lawrence Kamocha, on circuit in Hwange, told Sibanda before sentencing on Thursday:
“This was an unprovoked, politically-motivated attack. I have found no extenuating circumstances and I have no choice but to impose the ultimate penalty.”
Prosecutor Palmer Sipho Khumalo of the Attorney General’s Office told the court how Sibanda confronted Maphosa who was walking with a friend, Never Khabo, over his political affiliation.
Sibanda told Maphosa “He wanted to kill him because he was a supporter of the MDC,” said the prosecutor.
Maphosa and Khabo, the court heard, walked away and continued on their journey.
Sibanda then rushed to a nearby homestead where he armed himself with a wooden hoe handle and ran after the duo.
“When he caught up with them, he struck Maphosa on the head several times with the hoe handle.
“He left the victim lying on the ground, pleading for his life,” Khumalo told the court.
Maphosa was rushed to Mpilo Hospital, and was taken to the Intensive Care Unit where he hung onto life for 29 days, finally succumbing on July 6.
A post mortem report listed the cause of injury as a “skull fracture caused by a head injury as result of an assault”.—NewZimbabwe.com