Fairness Moyana Hwange Correspondent—
A TSHOLOTSHO-based teacher sjamboked his lover, also a teacher, to death for allegedly cheating on him. Obed Ncube, 44, of Nkulumane in Bulawayo was in love with Sarudzai Mutuma, and both were teachers at Bemba Primary school in Tsholotsho until their affair ended in tragedy. Ncube, who pleaded not guilty to murder but tendered a limited plea of guilty to culpable homicide, was on Friday slapped with a 10-year jail term by Bulawayo High court judge Justice Francis Bere sitting on circuit in Hwange.
Two years of his sentence were suspended for five years. Ncube told the court that he had been married twice and had lost the two women through divorce and death hence was pinning all his hope on finally settling down with Mutuma.
The father of three said he was hurt to discover that she was cheating on him, resulting in the fatal assault. “Your lordship, I loved deceased very much. I was married twice before, having divorced with my first wife and lost my second one through death. Meeting her put a stop to my search for someone to share the rest of my life with. I was hoping that I would be third time lucky with deceased but learning of her infidelity cut me to the heart,” said Ncube.
Justice Bere castigated Ncube for indiscriminately assaulting Mutuma using a dangerous weapon. “The postmortem suggests that deceased must have been subjected to protracted assault and went beyond average. As a qualified teacher with a level of sophistication, you were expected to deduce that a sjambok, which is not even used in our prisons, is a dangerous weapon,” said Justice Bere.
According to agreed facts, on October 18 last year, Mutuma, 33, had an argument with Ncube who accused her of cheating. She denied the allegations. Ncube slapped her several times on the face and was restrained from further assaulting Mutuma by Shelter Moyo, a fellow teacher who had heard the commotion.
However, later on that night, Ncube who was still seething with anger went to Mutuma’s room armed with a sjambok and started assaulting her all over the body accusing her of cheating on him. Corrinah Moyo rushed into the room and restrained Ncube from further assaulting Mutuma before disarming him.
The following day at around 6AM, some fellow teachers went to check on Mutuma after realising that she had not been up for work and found her dead in her room. A postmortem revealed that she had died due to internal bleeding and head injuries due to the excessive force Ncube used when he was assaulting her.
Memory Munsaka and Givemore Munsaka appeared for the state and defence respectively.