Josias Mutikani, who is of no fixed abode, but comes from Zaka under Chief Nyakunhuwa, told the court while giving evidence before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha that he had given up on life after living in the streets of Bulawayo, Masvingo and South Africa.
Mutikani, who is being represented pro deo by Mr Nduduzo Dube, of Cheda and Partners, is facing a charge of murder after he allegedly killed Doris Gill, an 86-year-old Bulawayo woman.
Mutikani had worked for Gill for three weeks at her house at Number 34 Qalisa Village, Suburbs.
Mutikani said he was bothered by illiteracy since he lost his parents and did not go beyond Grade Two, hence his failure to lead a proper life despite being able bodied and sane.
He said he lost his job on 26 November 2011 because there was a communication barrier between him and his employer.
Mutikani told the court that he killed Gill the following morning because he found no reason to continue with life when his lack of education was making it difficult for him to secure a job or lead a decent life.
The court entered a plea of not guilty on Mutikani’s behalf.
Justice Kamocha with Mr Jongilizwe Sobantu and Mrs Agnes Dhlula agreeing as assessors, reserved judgment and ordered that Mutikani be referred to Mlondolozi Prison where a psychiatric doctor will ascertain his mental state.
Said Justice Kamocha: “I have listened to your evidence and I am not quite happy and uncertain that you are quite normal. I would want it confirmed by a specialist and ascertain your mental state. I have never heard of a person, who says he committed an offence so that he can be killed as well.”
The judge said he would give an official written order to the Zimbabwe Prison Service to speed up the process.
Mutikani said after killing Gill, he went on to steal a laptop, a Nokia cellphone, $3 800, 2 000 rand and 200 pounds from a safe so that the property would be used as evidence against him to achieve his wish to be hanged.
A seemingly unfazed Mutikani said he fled the country to avoid being apprehended by the police over the offence and handed himself three months later to fulfil his wish to be hanged.
The prosecutor Mr Simbarashe Timothy Makoni, of the Attorney General’s Office told the court that Mutikani allegedly armed himself with a metal bar and went to Gill’s bedroom where she was sitting on a bed working on a laptop with the intention of killing her.
He allegedly struck her four times on the head using the metal rod and left her unconscious.
Mutikani covered her bleeding head with a pillow before ransacking the house and took the laptop, cellphone and money.
He allegedly locked the doors and main gate and left for Harare. Some neighbours, who inquired after noticing that Gill was not being seen as usual, found her body four days later.
Mutikani stayed in a lodge in Harare before leaving for Masvingo where he allegedly bought three beasts using part of the money.
He sold the cellphone in Masvingo and the laptop in Beitbridge before illegally leaving the country into Mozambique and Malawi.
The court heard that Mutikani returned from Malawi on 2 February 2012 and handed himself to police in Nyamapanda.
The metal bar, laptop and cellphone were presented as evidence in court.
The witness Mr David Llewellyn Mason said he and other members of the House Owners’ Association in Suburbs had to cut padlocks using a bolt cutter to check inside Gill’s house where there was a strong stench.
Mutikani, who was living in the streets in Bulawayo, said he was moving around the streets of Suburbs when he saw Gill watering her garden and immediately got the job.
He said the job had given him hope for a new lease of life and looked forward to the white woman teaching him the English language.
But losing it devastated him to the extent that he felt useless in life and contemplated committing a crime that would put him out, as he could no longer continue stealing.