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Surprise Justice: High Court Judge Frees Hubby Killer

A Masvingo High Court judge, in Zimbabwe, Justice Garainesu Mawadze has wholly suspended a four-year sentence on a Gutu woman who struck and...

A Masvingo High Court judge, in Zimbabwe, Justice Garainesu Mawadze has wholly suspended a four-year sentence on a Gutu woman who struck and killed her husband with a 1,5kg log following a dispute.

Beauty Mutondoro (22) of Village 3, Nelvin Farm in Gutu used such ferocious force against Chenjerai Mutondoro that the log broke into two pieces after she hit him on the left side of the head. Mutondoro died three days later at Masvingo Provincial Hospital.

Giving sentence last week, Justice Mawadze felt so sorry for Beauty whose small stature made her look like a Form 2 girl.

He also noted that Beauty will have the sole responsibility of looking after the couple’s two children aged four and one and half. For those reasons, Justice Mawadze suspended the whole four year-sentence he had placed on Beauty who faced culpable homicide charges.

Beauty showed remorse throughout the hearing although the husband provoked her on the fateful day. Justice Mawadze also said that the fact that Beauty will live with the stigma of killing her husband was punishment in itself.

Surprise Justice: High Court Judge Frees Hubby Killer

He also noted that she will live with the stigma of being a murderer despite being convicted for a lesser charge. The incident happened on June 22, 2022 around 10 pm.

The State case was that Mutondoro returned home drunk and told his wife that he wanted to buy an axe in exchange for maize. Beauty did not agree with the idea since their maize stock was not enough to last them until the next harvest.

Mutondoro slapped his wife twice in the face twice and hit her twice with a log. The log was produced in court as an exhibit. The State said that Mutondoro then snatched the log and hit her husband once with it.

He was taken to Gutu Mission Hospital and transferred to Masvingo General Hospital where he died six days later on June 28, 2022.

“The accused is of a very small stature; one would think she is a secondary school pupil. She is now the sole parent. The duty to look after their young children aged four and one-and-half-years falls squarely on her shoulders. It would be very difficult for her to outsource this responsibility. The children would be adversely affected.

“The accused exhibited contrition. She pleaded guilty to the charge she stands convicted of. It should weigh heavily on the accused that she took away the life of her husband and the father of her children. She will now live with the stigma that she is a murderer despite having been convicted of a lesser crime,” said Justice Mawadze. 

This is not the first time that Justice Mawadze has made headlines for his compassionate sentence. In February 2022, in another surprising case, High Court Judge, Justice Garainashe Mawadze, delivered an unprecedented verdict, where a 17-year-old convict was sentenced to mere seconds in custody. 

The convict was charged with murder with actual intent after throwing her two-year-old baby into the Tugwi River in Chivi following harassment and abuse by her grandmother and brother.

The judge justified the unique sentence, explaining that the convict had endured a traumatic life, including rape at the age of 14, becoming a mother at 15, and being ostracized by her family. 

Justice Mawadze believed that the most appropriate sentence would ensure the girl wouldn’t suffer further punishment. - Masvingo Mirror 

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