A Hwange man, who brutally stabbed his wife eight times before leaving the 20cm-long kitchen knife stuck in her back after discovering a love message in her cell-phone, was yesterday slapped with an effective 25 years imprisonment.
By Tinashe Mungazi
High Court judge Justice Francis Bere, sitting during Hwange Circuit Court, said Tendai Nkomo’s actions were callous and brutal as he had repeatedly stabbed his 23 year old defenceless wife, Sithembile Lupahla, while their three year old son helplessly watched.
“Deceased died a painful death at your hands. It was a callous and brutal murder done in front of little boy something that will have a psychological effect on him for years to come,” Justice Bere said.
In his defence Nkomo (31) had told the court his wife went into the kitchen and armed herself with a kitchen knife before stabbing him on the thigh.
He further said this was after the two had an altercation over the love message and in order to protect himself and their son he turned the knife on her.
“Deceased (Lupahla) got aggressive after I asked her about the love message I had seen in her phone and she told me to mind my own business before she asked for her phone back,” Nkomo said.
“I refused to give it back and that’s when she went into the kitchen and returned armed with a knife before charging and stabbing me once on the thigh. Fearing for my life and that of my son who was next to me I wrestled with her for the knife before turning it resulting in her stabbing herself several times.”
Nkomo told the court he was not in full control of his actions as alcohol and pain of discovering his wife’s alleged infidelity had hit hard on him.
The court heard on 10 September last year at around 6: pm Nkomo went to Lwendulu Flea market where his wife worked and later escorted her to her elder sister Rachel Lupahla’s home.
Nkomo’s wife was now staying with her sister he tried to persuade her to return back home after chasing her away.
On arrival the two had a misunderstanding over their relationship and Nkomo is said to have assaulted Lupahla with fists and stabbed her several times using a kitchen knife.
She was rushed to hospital by neighbours who had heard her screams for help but she died on admission at Hwange Colliery Hospital.
The witnesses, Moses Sanudi and Weston Chemere told the court they found Nkomo battering his wife while she was lying on the ground with a knife stuck on her back.
They said they apprehended Nkomo before checking on deceased whose face was swollen and clothes soaked in blood and was asking them to remove the knife from her back.
However, the three agreed not to remove it fearing it would increase the bleeding. They sought transport and rushed her to Hwange Colliery hospital where she died on admission.
Nkomo was represented by Tonderai Mukuku while the State was represented by Namatirai Ngwasha.