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Judge commends boyfriend killer

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HARARE High Court judge Justice Joseph Musakwa last week spared a convicted murderer, Stephen Sibange, from serving a jail term for killing his wife’s lover, but commended him for remaining composed after the latter provocatively stormed into his bedroom at midnight.

CHARLES LAITON
SENIOR COURT REPORTER

Sibange from Murewa told the court in mitigation that he fatally assaulted Clemio Kamonere, after the latter broke into his bedroom and demanded to engage his wife.

The court sentenced Sibange to a four-year wholly suspended jail term after taking into account the mitigation which included his lengthy stay in custody since 2011.

“Accused commendably restrained himself when he sought to understand why the deceased would come to his home to see his wife during his presence at night,” Justice Musakwa said.

“What was unusual about this case is that the deceased intruded into the accused’s home and imposed himself by seeking to engage the accused’s wife.

What worsened the situation was that the accused’s wife was making gestures to the deceased that the accused was in. His wife also stood up to block the accused’s view of the deceased who was outside. This shows that there was provocation and any ordinary person would have been provoked.”

Justice Musakwa said the mitigatory factors in the matter far outweighed any aggravatory factors, adding the only aggravatory factor was that Sibange continued to attack Kamonere despite realising he had overpowered him.

The incident which left other villagers dumfounded, occurred on May 2 2011 at Marovanidze village, Chief Mangwende in Murehwa.

On the night in question, the court heard, Sibange was asleep at his home when Kamonere knocked at his door at an odd hour.

Sibange opened the door and met Kamonere who requested to see his wife.

When Sibange asked Kamonere as to why he had visited his wife at such odd hours, Kamonere turned violent and beat up his rival suitor.

Incensed by Kamonere’s behaviour and fearing for his life, Sibange took a hoe handle and struck Kamonere on the backside and legs several times.
Kamonere later succumbed to the injuries.

The State was represented by Clemence Chimbari while Sibange was represented by Sharon Hofisi.

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