A BINGA man who fatally assaulted his father following a dispute has been sentenced to an effective three years in jail. Anyway Mudenda (25) of Pashu area who was initially charged with murder in connection with the death of his father, Mr Fandson Gamela Mudenda (49) was convicted of a lesser charge of culpable homicide by Bulawayo High Court Justice Nokuthula Moyo on circuit in Hwange.
He was sentenced to five years in jail of which two years were suspended for five years on condition that he does not within that period commit a similar offence.Anyway struck his father on the stomach using a log in February this year.
In her judgment, Justice Moyo said after Anyway said he had not intended to kill his father, there was need to give him the benefit of doubt.
“The court adopts the accused person’s version of the narration of the events of that particular day. A single blow in the stomach cannot be said to be intentionally and even the nature of the injuries show that the attack was not intentional. It is for these reasons that we find the accused not guilty of murder and accordingly convicted of culpable homicide,” ruled the judge.
In passing the sentence, Justice Moyo bemoaned an upsurge in domestic violence related crimes, saying the courts have a duty protect the sanctity of human life.
“Domestic violence is a monster that is growing in our society where people are now butchering each other within their family set ups. The family institution is failing to manage feuds in their respective households resulting in unnecessary loss of life over petty disputes,” said the judge. She said the fact that Anyway will be haunted by the death of his father was enough punishment for him.
“Accused person killed his own father and he shall forever be haunted by his abhorrent actions. He is now fatherless by virtue of failing to exercise self-restraint. He failed to honour his parents as the Bible clearly states and will regret his actions for the rest of life,” said Justice Moyo.
Prosecuting, Ms Memory Munsaka said on February 18 this year at around 9.30PM, the deceased who was married to two wives was coming from his first wife, Ms Regina Mumpande’s bedroom hut and going to the second wife’s Ms Georgina Munkuli’s hut when he met his son. The court heard that Anyway who had an undisclosed long standing domestic feud with his father, struck the deceased once on the stomach and he fell down.
“The deceased fell down and Ms Mumpande heard him screaming for help and she rushed to the scene and by the time she arrived Anyway was already fleeing,” said Ms Munsaka.
Mr Mudenda was rushed to Pashu Clinic where he died the following day. A report was made to the police leading to Anyway’s arrest. In his defence through his pro deo lawyer, Mr Knowledge Dingani of Mlweli Ndlovu and Partners, Anyway said he was drunk when he committed the offence. Anyway said he had no intention of killing his father but acted recklessly when he wrestled the log from his father and used it to attack him.