Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
A MAN from Tsholotsho who stabbed his neighbour to death for allegedly snatching his girlfriend has been sentenced to an effective 18 years in jail.
Tapiwa Dube (24) stabbed Mduduzi Cuthbert Gumbo (39) of Sipepa Area under Chief Mathuphula twice with an Okapi knife.
Gumbo died on admission at Sipepa Rural Hospital the same night leading to Dube’s arrest.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo recently convicted Dube of murder with constructive intent.
In passing the sentence, Justice Moyo said Dube’s conduct was deplorable and showed lack of maturity.
“The accused should have simply respected the woman’s choice. He decided to accost Gumbo, which was very unreasonable as it was not the deceased’s fault that the woman changed her mind and clearly this shows immaturity and this is unwarranted,” said the judge.
Justice Moyo said the courts have a duty to uphold the sanctity of human life through passing deterrent sentences.
“An innocent life was unnecessarily lost and courts have time and again bemoaned loss of life through violence. It is for these reasons that the accused person is sentenced to 18 years imprisonment,” ruled the judge.
Prosecuting, Ms Charlene Gorerino, said on January 30 this year at about 7PM, Dube met Ms Khethiwe Ncube (30) and proposed love to her and she agreed. The two lovers proceeded to Sipepa Business Centre. At the business centre, Ms Ncube remained seated at a veranda as Dube went into a bottle store to buy beer.
The court heard that the deceased who was also at the veranda approached Ms Ncube and he proposed love to her and she agreed.
The two agreed to spend the night together.
“At around 8PM, Ms Ncube and Gumbo left Sipepa Business Centre and proceeded to the deceased’s homestead,” said Ms Gorerino.
The court heard that while Gumbo and Ms Ncube were walking along Sipepa-Lupane Road, Dube followed them and caught up with them at a certain point along the said road.
Dube accused Gumbo of snatching his girlfriend and an altercation ensued. He drew an Okapi knife from his pocket and stabbed the now deceased twice In the stomach and right hand before he disappeared into the bush.
Gumbo was taken to Sipepa Rural Hospital where he died on admission.
According to postmortem results the cause of death was due to assault, haemorrhagic shock, penetrating abdominal wound and perforated lower abdominal aorta.
In his defence through lawyer, Mr Given Muvhiringi of Muvhiringi and Associates said he attacked Gumbo in self defence after he allegedly assaulted him.
He said Gumbo was angry when he confronted him over the woman he had allegedly snatched from him.