Mashudu Netsianda Senior Court Reporter
A BULAWAYO soldier followed his estranged wife to her family home where he allegedly fatally stabbed her seven times and in the process ripping open her stomach using a kitchen knife after she refused to return to their matrimonial home.
Gugulethu Ndlovu (29) of Nkulumane suburb and stationed at the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) 1.2 Infantry Battalion in Hwange, had a long-standing domestic feud with his wife Nompilo Moyo whom he accused of infidelity resulting in the woman abandoning their matrimonial home.
Ms Moyo moved back to her parents’ home at Kumbudzi Village under Chief Mathe area in Gwanda district. Ndlovu followed the deceased to her home intending to negotiate with her so that she could return to their matrimonial home in Bulawayo. When Moyo refused to return to Bulawayo, an altercation ensued resulting in Ndlovu indiscriminately stabbing her seven times and she died on the spot.
Soon after committing the offence, Ndlovu went to the ZNA barracks in Mbalabala where he handed himself over to the military police leading to his arrest.
This emerged when Ndlovu, through his lawyers Malinga and Mpofu Legal Practitioners, filed an application for bail pending trial at the Bulawayo High Court recently, citing the State as a respondent. In his bail statement, Ndlovu said there was no legal basis warranting his continued detention, arguing that the State’s case was weak.
He also dismissed the State’s assertion that if released on bail he was likely to abscond given the gravity of the alleged offence.
“The applicant has a strong defence to the allegations levelled against him. He is not a flight risk and there is no tangible evidence for the contention that he will escape or interfere with State witnesses if released on bail,” said Ndlovu’s lawyers.
“Applicant is a serving member of the Zimbabwe National Army, which on its own is a disciplined organisation with a capacity to monitor his movement such that it will not be easy for him to
escape if released on bail.”
Ndlovu offered to pay $10 000 bail and report twice a week at Nkulumane Police Station. He also offered to continue residing at his given address as well as not interfering with State witnesses as part of the bail conditions. The State, which was represented by Mr Kudakwashe Jaravaza opposed the application, arguing that there was no guarantee that if released on bail Ndlovu would not abscond.
“In casu, it should be noted that the applicant faces a serious offence. It is clear that the seriousness of the charge is a factor that the court should pay regard to, for it is clear that once an accused person is faced with a lengthy imprisonment, the possibility of abscondment is very high,” he said.
Mr Jaravaza said the fact that Ndlovu fled the scene after committing the offence, was in itself a pointer that he has inclination to abscond.
“It should be noted that the murder itself was committed in a callous manner. The applicant stabbed the deceased seven times and fled from the scene. The State’s case is strong such that a lengthy custodial sentence is likely, even death sentence is a likelihood,” he said.
According to State papers it was stated that on June 24 this year, Ndlovu travelled from Hwange to Kumbudzi Village following his wife who had abandoned their matrimonial home and moved back to her family home. Moyo’s departure from her matrimonial home followed a spate of misunderstandings with Ndlovu who accused her of infidelity.
The purpose of Ndlovu’s visit to Kumbudzi Village was to negotiate with his wife and in-laws so that Moyo could return to their matrimonial home.
However, it was stated that upon arrival at his in-laws’ home, the deceased refused to welcome him leading to an altercation and Ndlovu attacked the deceased. He allegedly pushed her to the ground after overpowering her before he stabbed her seven times in the process ripping open the stomach.
After committing the offence, Ndlovu fled from the scene and went to ZNA School of Infantry barracks in Mbalabala where he handed himself over to the military police. He was taken to the police leading to his arrest. — @mashnets