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Fairness Moyana in Hwange

A HWANGE man who fatally assaulted a fellow reveller with a wooden plank following a misunderstanding over beer has been jailed seven years for culpable homicide.

Ragee Muleya from BH43 village under Chief Shana in Jambezi, who was 24 at the time of committing the offense in March last year, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of culpable homicide when he appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva.

Sitting on circuit at Hwange Magistrate court, Justice Takuva convicted Muleya on a culpable homicide charge for negligently causing the death of 24-year-old Talent Munkena, slapping him with a seven-year prison term before conditionally suspending two years.

df1 High Court of Zimbabwe – Bulawayo

According to a statement of agreed facts between the state led by Mrs Martha Cheda and defense counsel’s Mr Douglas Ncube from Legal Aid Directorate on 27 March 2022 and at around 23:30hrs, the accused and the deceased were at Wellington Bar drinking opaque. During the course of the beer binge, the two had an altercation over some beer before the deceased threatened the accused with assault.

The deceased subsequently fulfilled his threat, assaulting the accused with an open hand once on the face. The accused then picked a wooden plank, which was inside the bar and struck the deceased who fell down unconscious once on the head.

Other revellers, Silibaziso Sibindi and Thabani Moyo rendered first aid on the deceased and he regained consciousness before he was ferried to Jambezi clinic for treatment.

However, the deceased succumbed to injuries sustained from the assault nine days later on 5 April 2022. Meanwhile, in a related case, a 25-year-old Inyathi man was sentenced to six years imprisonment for causing the death of Malaki Ndlovu whom he fatally struck for “interfering in my business”.

Justice Takuva found Nelson Ncube not guilty of murder but convicted him on a lesser charge of culpable homicide for causing death of Ndlovu who was 41 years old at the time he met his death. One year of the sentence was suspended for five years for good behaviour.

The state and defense agreed that on 30 April 2022 and at around 1900hrs, Ncube and Ndlovu were at Joylink Bottlestore playing snooker as well as drinking ‘hot stuff’ beer with some unidentified persons. During that time, the deceased had a misunderstanding with one of the patrons only identified as Mtshifana before Ncube reprimanded the former.

This, however, did not go down well with the deceased who approached the accused and queried why he was interfering in the issue. A misunderstanding ensued before the two started pushing and shoving each other. Ncube then struck the deceased once on the forehead with a snooker stick he was holding resulting in him falling down unconscious.

The accused and Polite Sinela rendered first aid on the deceased before he fled the scene after pouring water on the deceased while Sinela covered the deceased with a blanket as he was shivering. The deceased was ferried to the hospital the following day where he later died.

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