HARARE – A Bulawayo man who callously killed his wife before making his two minor children sleep in the same blanket with her corpse has been jailed 20 years by Bulawayo High Court judge, Evangelista Kabasa.

Bambanani Ndlovu killed his wife in full view of the minors by strangling following a quarrel over his return home late.

He however denied murder allegations arguing he had acted in self-defence after his wife, Happiness Ngwenya grabbed his testicles during their fight.

His defence was however found unconvincing by the court which convicted him of murder.

“Gender based violence is a scourge that appears not to be abating,” Kabasa noted while handing down her ruling.

“A home should be a place of peace and love and a spouse ought not to lose their life at the hands of one who professes to love them.

“The very hands that were expected to nurture her took her life.”

She added, “You committed this offence in full view of your 2 very young children.

“The five-year old testified to the fact that the two-year old was crying.

“You kept the deceased’s body that night and the following day further traumatising these young children.

“You also threatened the five-year-old against reporting as you would do to her what you had done to her mother.

“Death by strangulation is painful and cruel.”

Kabasa also said the presumptive penalty for a contravention of section 47 is 15 years where there are mitigating factors.

She said there were no such mitigatory factors to justify failure to impose 15 years imprisonment adding that the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigatory ones in the case.

“The manner in which you killed the deceased, the presence of the two young children, the keeping of her body in the house and attempts to lie as to what had killed her justifies a sentence of 20 years imprisonment,” the judge said.

Ngwenya’s five-year old daughter testified that she was sleeping on the floor with her mother (the now deceased) and her young brother.

The court heard Ndlovu arrived home and shouted at her mother.

The minor said Ndlovu picked a knobkerrie and struck her on the knee.

He proceeded to strangle her adding that her now late mother waved her hands in the air as she struggled to break from his grip.

“She did not wake up thereafter and the accused poured water on her to no avail,” she told court.