A MVURWI man, Mike Foya, has been jailed for seven years after he fatally assaulted his friend for joking about bedding his wife.
High Court judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi gave him a lenient sentence after taking into consideration that he committed the offence after being provoked. Four years of his sentence were set aside on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.
The incident took place on October 9 last year.
Foya and his late friend, Innocent Chawira were coming from aa beer binge. The two were intoxicated to the extent that they could not make their way home. Chawira reportedly boasted that he was bedding Foya’s wife, leading to an argument which degenerated into a fistfight.
Foya submitted that he did not pay regard to the amount of force which he applied when he assaulted his friend, resulting in his death.
Foya pleaded guilty to culpable homicide as defined in section 49 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Foya submitted that he did not pay regard to the amount of force which he applied when he assaulted his friend, resulting in his death. He said he did not pay regard to the fact that the part of the deceased’s body which he struck was sensitive.
Justice Mutevedzi accepted his argument and ruled: “Given the above evidence, we are satisfied that the acceptance by prosecution of the accused’s plea of guilty to the lesser charge is an informed decision.
“Against that background, the accused person is found not guilty and is acquitted of the charge of murder. He is found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide as defined in section 49 of the Criminal Law Code.
“The accused stands convicted of the offence of culpable homicide. He killed his friend in a drunken brawl. He is 31 years old. Counsel, who represented him, urged the court to take into account that he is indeed a youthful offender. This court has accepted in the past that the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013 in section 20 accords the status of youth on any person between the ages of 15 and 35 years.”
Mutevedzi also considered that Foya did not waste the court’s time and was a family man.
“Whether it was intended to be a prank or it was reality, nobody will really know. If it was a prank, it unfortunately went horribly wrong. The court equally accepts that the accused acted out of provocation by the deceased who taunted him of having an extramarital affair with his wife.
“As if that was not enough, the deceased went on to assault the accused who then retaliated and killed him. The deceased was, therefore, the initialaggressor. The situation was compounded by the fact that the accusedwas intoxicated. He simply lost it as a result,” ruled the judge, who also considered that Foya has been in jail since his arrest last year.