A 23-year-old jailbird from Matshobana suburb in Bulawayo has been arraigned before the courts of law charged with murder after he fatally stabbed his uncle with a kitchen knife following a dispute.

Desmond Phiri now stands accused of fatally stabbing his uncle Jonathan Phiri (39) in the neck, after the latter had intervened in a dispute pitting the former and his 70-year-old grandfather Manonoka Mponda over a protection order in December 2018.

During his appearance before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Thompson Mabhikwa, it also emerged that Phiri once served in prison for pick-pocketing and robbery.

State prosecutor Kudakwashe Jaravaza told the court that on December 24, 2018 at around 7.40pm, the accused went to his grandfather’s house in Matshobana suburb, despite a court order interdicting him.

The deceased, who stayed in Entumbane suburb with his family decided to visit his 70-year-old father, Mponda, and found the accused drunk and holding a beer bottle at the residence.

Jaravaza also told the court that the deceased confronted the accused person demanding to know why he had violated the court order, with the dispute almost degenerating into a fist fight.

Rodwell Muponda, the deceased’s young brother then intervened by escorting the accused out of the yard.

“The accused person left his grandfather’s house and went to a neighbour’s house where he found a 15-year-old boy washing dishes outside and took a kitchen knife, which was among the dishes,” Jaravaza said.

Armed with a kitchen knife, Phiri is said to have gone back to his grandfather’s house armed with a knife. He waylaid the deceased at the gate and allegedly stabbed him in the right shoulder, the court heard.

The deceased then collapsed a few metres away from the gate and died.

Postmortem results say the cause of death was hypovolemic shock, carotid artery lesion and right lung injury and stab wound.

Phiri who fled the scene after committing the offense was arrested the following day after police found him hiding in a disused National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) wagon- a haven for criminals

In his defence through his lawyer, Ms Belinda Khupe of Mutatu, Masamvu and Gustavo Law Chambers, Phiri said he acted in self defence during a scuffle.

Four witnesses are expected to testify when the trial continues on July 27.

state media