MASVINGO — A 45-year-old man from Nyajena who fatally struck his blood brother with a hoe has been acquitted of murder after a High Court judge ruled that he was acting in self-defence.
Report by Tatenda Chitagu, Own Correspondent
Justice Charles Hungwe, sitting with assessors Eliphas Gweru and Postal Dauramanzi, at the close of the High Court session in Masvingo last week, acquitted Fanuel Madoro, from Shimbami village, who killed his brother Pedzisai in June 2009 following a row over leaking the now deceased’s whereabouts to the police.
Pedzisai, who was 42 at the time of his death, was a jailbird who had just escaped from police custody and was accusing his brother of selling him out.
Agreed facts were that after midnight on June 11, 2009, the deceased went to Fanuel’s bedroom armed with a pick and confronted him for allegedly selling him out to the police and threatened to kill him.
Pedzisai struck the door of the hut where his brother was asleep, prompting Fanuel to arm himself with a hoe handle. Fanuel opened the door and struck his elder brother several times on the head with the weapon.
Pedzisai sustained severe injuries on the head and bled profusely.
Fanuel then alerted his other brother Josias and went to make a police report at Renco Mine.
Pedzisai later died from the injuries he sustained from the attack.
In his defence, Fanuel, who was being represented by Philip Shumba of Mutendi and Shumba law firm, argued that he was left with no option as his brother, bitter about being reported to the police, was a dangerous convict who had earlier assaulted their mother until she lost consciousness.
In passing judgment, Justice Hungwe said: “The deceased had escaped from police custody and, therefore, the accused had reasonable fear that the deceased would kill him.
“The deceased was a person of a violent temper given that he had viciously attacked their mother and Fanuel’s wife. The accused acted in self-defence because either the deceased or the accused was going to perish that night. Our law recognises the right to kill in defence of self or property.”