Man gets 15 years for killing mother-in-law

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GWERU — A 31-year-old Zvishavane man was yesterday jailed for 15 years for murdering his mother-in-law last year following a dispute over custody of his child.

Report by Stephen Chadenga

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese sitting at the Gweru Circuit found Luciel Moyo guilty of murder with constructive intent after he struck Pellargia Makiwa (65) with an iron bar on the head.

Makiwa died 11 days after the attack.

Justice Makonese said he had considered that a deterrent sentence was appropriate as lives continued to be lost over petty misunderstandings.

“The accused acted irrationally and even though there are some extenuating circumstances, he caused the loss of life of his
mother-in-law over a petty issue that could have been resolved amicably,” he said.

“A deterrent sentence is, therefore, proper in this case.”
Prosecutor Shepherd Mafa told the court that on May 20 last year Moyo arrived at the deceased’s homestead at around 11pm.

He had a heated argument with his ex-wife Patience Makiwa over custody of their two-year-old daughter.

The deceased advised Moyo to come back during the day so the matter could be discussed by family members.

Moyo would have none of it and struck his mother-in-law with an iron bar in the forehead before striking his ex-wife with a brick and ran away.

The deceased was ferried to Zvishavane District Hospital on May 30 when her condition deteriorated, but died the following day at United Bulawayo Hospital.

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