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Brother killer jailed 12 years

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A Bindura man who murdered his brother for converting to Christianity on Friday escaped the hangman’s noose after High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu slapped him with a 12-year jail term.

The incarceration of Masimba Juru (34) followed a ruling by the High Court that there were extenuating circumstances in the matter.

Justice Bhunu, who was sitting with two assessors, said when Masimba stabbed his brother, Chakanetsa, accusing him of inviting misfortunes into the family, his personal judgment had been blurred by drunkenness.

“The accused’s judgment had been affected by the consumption of alcohol,” he said.

“After careful consideration of the circumstances surrounding the murder, we were of the unanimous view that the murder was committed under extenuating circumstances.

“This was not a mindless brutal murder perpetrated with a malicious mind. The murder was committed under a primitive belief that the deceased’s refusal to consult the spiritual world exposed the whole family to an attack by avenging spirits,” he added.

The murder occurred at Chiveso Village, under Chief Musana in Mashonaland Central Province on September 12, 2010 following a heated argument after the now-deceased backtracked on consulting traditional healers, sorcerers and prophets. The feud came about after Chakanetsa’s daughter, Shamiso, died under mysterious circumstances in 2008.

Following Shamiso’s death, the Juru family consulted sorcerers, prophets and traditional healers and Chakanetsa was also party to the exercise.

However, after two years Chakanetsa decided to convert to Christianity and dumped the family’s traditional beliefs, a move which did not go down well with Masimba who feared avenging spirits would continue to haunt the family, prompting him to kill his brother by stabbing him with a knife in the chest.

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