MASVINGO High Court Judge, Justice Garainesu Mawadze yesterday sentenced a 31-year-old Gutu man to 10 years in prison for fatally assaulting his father with a switch and booted feet as punishment for labelling his mother a prostitute.
Steward Ganda (31) of Ganda Village under Chief Mazuru was accused of attacking his intoxicated father, Diti Ganda (63) for disowning him.
The deceased reportedly sustained a deep scalp laceration, partial amputation of the right ear, multiple bruises on the face and neck after the attack.
Justice Mawadze, reduced the charge from murder to culpable homicide considering that the accused had no actual intent to kill his father, but was incensed by his provocation.
Ganda will serve an effective eight years in prison after the judge suspended two years from the sentence.
In mitigation, the accused who was being represented by Mr Martin Mureri of Matutu and Mureri Partners said he was disappointed when the now-deceased said his mother was a prostitute who could have been impregnated by another man.
Both the State and the defence counsel agreed to alter the murder charge to culpable homicide after striking a balance between mitigatory and aggravating factors.
“The Court considered that no weapons were discovered at the scene. We also have no doubt that the accused is contrite. Furthermore, he spent five months of pre-trial incarceration during which he failed to raise bail money.
“It is again quite clear that he had no intention to take away his biological father’s life,” said Justice Mawadze in his ruling.
Prosecutor Mr Takunda Chikwati said the accused and his father were drinking beer together until 5PM when they decided to return home.
“On their way home, Diti allegedly told his son that he was not his biological father. He accused the defendant’s mother of being a prostitute,” said Mr Chikwati.
The prosecutor said Diti claimed the accused could have been fathered by one of his mother’s boyfriends.
He said in a fit of rage, the accused assaulted Diti with a switch and kicked him all over the body.
The court heard that Diti fell unconscious as he bled profusely.
Mr Chikwati told the court that the accused then dragged his father into a nearby bush and dumped him there before proceeding home.
However, the deceased later regained consciousness and proceeded to his homestead where he later succumbed to the injuries.
The next morning, the accused went to one Kainos Ganda’s homestead and told him that he had killed his father and wanted to hand himself over to the police.
The two went to the police, where he surrendered himself.