Justice Mawadze sentenced Alex Muchocha (47) of Farm 28, Hippo Valley in Chiredzi on Friday.
Mercy Mukowa, aged between 18-21, was murdered on November 23, 2021, at Chiredzi Dumpsite.
He stabbed Mercy twice on the right thigh, once on the left thigh and in her stomach, and she died on the spot.
Justice Mawadze said what is not clear and puzzling is how Mercy managed to live with Muchocha and her ‘husband’ Peter Majoka (32), who stays at shacks at Chiredzi Dumpsite separately without them suspecting her infidelity.
Isabel Moyo of Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba represented Muchocha on a pro-deo basis. He tendered a limited plea for culpable homicide and argued that he had no intention of killing Mercy.
He said he was outraged after she stole US$600 and an Itel mobile phone and went to squander the money with Majoka.
Justice Mawadze dismissed his plea after concluding that he was not a liable witness.
He said Muchocha told the court that he stayed with Mercy for several months when, in fact, she lived with Majoka and only left him for three-four days at most.
Justice Mawadze also said that Muchocha used force to stab Mercy after the knife’s blade separated from the handle. Muchocha also failed to prove his claim that Mercy was dating three men.
Muchocha also alleged that Mercy stole money and his mobile phone in court but did not mention it in his warned and cautioned statement.
He also did not show remorse and blamed Mercy for adultery which incensed him.
Majoka testified in court and said Muchocha once visited the couple and introduced himself as Mercy’s uncle. He, therefore, played second fiddle and could not be incensed by her adultery, said Justice Mawadze.
“A defence of provocation is not available to you. At most, it can be mitigatory. You had the intention to kill her. Consequently, our view is that you are guilty of murder with actual intent. Falling in love does not warrant a death penalty,” said Justice Mawadze.
Circumstances are that on the day, Muchocha went to Chiredzi Dumpsite, where he found Mercy and Majoka sitting with Chipo Msipa.
He approached them with caution, holding an okapi knife. Majoka saw him in the darkness and ran to alert other dumpsite residents.
Mercy failed to run, and Muchocha stabbed her twice on the right thigh, once on the left thigh and stomach. She died on the spot, and Muchocha fled the scene.
Police arrested him the next day. Edwin Mbavarira prosecuted.