Abel Zhakata Senior Reporter
A SENIOR Mutare High Court judge, Justice Hlekani Mwayera, has acquitted a Chipinge man who murdered his father in cold blood with a machete and later hid in a mango tree on the basis that the suspect suffered from mental disorder when he committed the offence.
Justice Mwayera came out with the special verdict in terms of Section 29 (2) of the Mental Health Act (Chapter 15:12). A psychiatrist who examined the suspect concluded that he was a mental patient.
Circumstances to the case were that the suspect, Witness Mutengwi from Mapinge Village under Chief Mutema in Chipinge, killed his father, Patikai Madoro, on June 26 last year.
Public prosecutor Mr Malvin Musarurwa told the court that on the day in question at around 4pm the accused, for no apparent reason, struck the deceased with a stone and later on with a machete on the head several times.
The deceased died on the spot.
“The body was later taken to Chipinge District Hospital mortuary and a post-mortem done by Drr Brian Makumbe concluded that the cause of death was due to exsanguinations. The stone and the machete were recovered from the scene and were produced in court as exhibits,” he said.
During trial the State called the wife of the deceased, Miriam Kwanga, who chronicled how the crime was committed.
She told the court that the suspect, who is her stepson, was a mental patient. Kwanga said the accused person struck the deceased with a stone followed by several strikes with a machete. She observed a deep cut on the deceased’s head and brains which had been splashed on the ground.
Neighbours, who were also witnesses to the murder, told the court that the suspect was a mental patient. Solomon Sithole said he was assisted by Zondai Muyambo to apprehend the accused person a kilometre away from the scene who was now hiding in a mango tree.
The court is, however, yet to decide whether the suspect will be taken to a mental institution to get treatment or he will be placed in the hands of a guardian or relative.