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Man jailed for killing neighbour over trousers


A SANYATI teenage killer on Tuesday escaped capital punishment and was slapped with a nine-year effective jail term after he was convicted of murdering his neighbour who accused him of stealing his pair of trousers.


Kudakwashe Muzira was aged 17 years in June 2009, when he stabbed and killed Edmore Vambe.

The accused told High Court judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu that he was cornered and  launched pre-emptive attack on Vambe in a bid to avert mortal danger to himself.

His defence however, was not taken much into consideration and Justice Bhunu convicted him of murder with constructive intent and saved him from the hangman’s noose.

Before sentence justice Bhunu said in his judgment: “The accused’s (Muzira) conduct in attacking a defenceless person who was no longer participating in the scuffle with a lethal knife can only amount to intentional killing of a pillow human being.”

“The attack on the deceased was, however, not premeditated or planned as it was a result of spontaneous action in the course of a casual brawl.

“For that reason the court unanimously finds that the accused is guilty of murder with constructive intent.”

The court heard that on the fateful day Vambe and his nephew, who was identified in court only as Munyaradzi, accosted Muzira at his parent’s homestead and accused him of stealing Vambe’s pair of trousers.

Justice Bhunu heard that at the material time, a scuffle then ensued as Vambe and his nephew tried to drag Muzira to one Tichaona Muzira’s homestead to settle the dispute.

During the commotion, the court heard, Muzira at one stage managed to break free and entered the kitchen from where he armed himself with a knife which he used to fatally stab Vambe.

In mitigation Muzira’s lawyers said: “It is submitted that the minor’s objective was to scare the deceased into retreating and that when the deceased stood his ground the minor accused (Muzira) somehow misinterpreted it as the deceased’s intention to continue the battle upon which the accused somewhat stabbed him.

The accused’s youthfulness at the material time may have significantly contributed to his error in judgment.”

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