Freedom Mupanedemo-Midlands Bureau
A Gweru man who fatally assaulted his teenage sister after finding through her cellphone that she was dating many boyfriends was yesterday jailed for an effective seven years after pleading guilty to culpable homicide before Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva.
Terrence Tarisai (27) of Clifton Park in Gweru had pleaded not guilt to murder when he appeared before Justice Takuva who was sitting in Gweru on circuit. Murder is when you intend death or so reckless that such an intention can be construed. Culpable homicide is when you take action that a reasonable person would realise could lead to serious injury or death.
Justice Takuva found him guilty of culpable homicide after a full trial where he bemoaned increase in crimes committed by parents or guardians as they apply excessive force in an attempt to discipline children
“There is need for parents and guardians to avoid excessive force when disciplining their children because it leads to unnecessary loss of life. A young life was lost unnecessarily. The accused is found guilty of culpable homicide and is sentenced to eight years in prison. A year of his sentence is suspended on condition of good behaviour,” said Justice Takuva as he handed down the judgement on the sombre looking Tarisai.
Prosecutor Ms Shalom Ndamuka Chikuni presented the evidence that Tarisai fatally assaulted his 16-year-old sister Tryphine using a belt and a cord after accusing her of being promiscuous. She was in Form 3 at Ascot High School in Gweru.
On July 22 last year, Tarisai arrived home and discovered that Tryphine was not at home and had left her 10-year- old sister alone. She came home at around 6pm told her brother she had gone to the shops. He was not satisfied and took her cellphone and went through the young sister’s WhatsApp messages and then threatened to beat her after finding messages from boys she was dating.
Tryphine fled home and stayed overnight at her aunt’s place in Mtapa Section 7, Gweru. The following morning, the aunt, Fungai Mugabe, accompanied her back home and found Tarisai at home. Tarisai said he was going to beat his sister before ordering her to lie on the sofa facing downwards. He took a black cord and assaulted his sister on the buttocks, legs and arms for about 10 minutes.
Tryphine then confessed that she had six boyfriends before he ordered her to call all the boyfriends to end the relationships.
Tarisai took a black belt and continued to assault the girl. Tryphine then complained that she was feeling cold and was put on a bed by her aunt. At about 3pm the same day, it was discovered that she had died in her sleep and a report was made to the police leading to Tarisai’s arrest.