A man from Zimbabwe’s Murehwa District in Mashonaland East Province who gruesomely murdered his own daughter in a desperate bid to avoid paying an additional US$30 in maintenance for the child, has been sentenced to death by the High Court.
High Court judge, Justice Tawanda Chitapi found the caged Charles Kavhumbura guilty of killing his daughter Lydia (age not stated), following a full trial typified by the convicted murderer’s vigorous attempts to deny the gory criminal offence he committed in 2017.
In passing the death sentence, Chitapi noted that Kavhumbura remained unrepentant albeit the heinous crime, saying:
“The accused is a family man. He decimated part of his family by selfishly murdering the deceased for no just cause. He knew right from wrong. In fact, his motive to kill the deceased was to save himself from the obligation to outlay more money as maintenance. He remained unrepentant and thus remorseless by not even owning up to his misdeed electing to deny his culpability in the light of overwhelming evidence”.
Given the monstrous nature of the heinous crime he committed and the circumstances surrounding it, Chitapi said he was left with no other option than to make Kavhumbura a candidate for the dreaded gallows.
He opined that the ‘circumstances of the murder were indeed such that they easily send a chill down the spine of any reasonable member of society’, adding:
“To devour one’s own child in order to avert or avoid a lawful obligation to pay maintenance as ordered by the courts cannot be countenanced in an informed society governed through the rule of law. Much as the court dug deep into the facts to find factors which could substantially impact on the moral blameworthiness of the accused to reduce it, it found none. The aggravating circumstances remained so glaring outweighing any mitigatory factors to the point where to avoid the imposition of the death penalty would have amounted to a gross injustice.”
Added Justice Chitapi:
“The accused is sentenced to death. He shall be returned to custody and the sentence of death shall be executed according to law.”
The court heard that on October 14, 2017, Charles’s ex-wife Pedzisai Kachepa, sent Lydia and her brother to visit their father.
The two were also supposed to get maintenance money for their upkeep.
At the time Charles, who had since remarried, used to run a grinding mill at Susman Farm, Juru, Murehwa.
In his warned and cautioned statement, made following his arrest, Charles confessed to killing Lydia in order to save himself from paying an additional US$30 per month in maintenance.
Part of his warned and cautioned statement which was admitted at his trial reads.
“I do admit to the allegations leveled against me. On Saturday 14 October 2017 in the morning around 1000 hours, the now-deceased came to my grinding mill with her sibling Tanaka Kavhumbura who is two years old.
“Before she left, I told her to come back to the grinding mill later on. At dusk, the now deceased came back, found me outside the grinding mill, and she told me that she had returned. We began to play, persuading her since I knew that I wanted to kill her. I enticed her to come close since I was now aware that I wanted to kill her.
“When she came close I caught her, she came and stood in front of my legs as she was giving me her back and that is when I strangled her. She tried to escape but she was not successful and she also could not scream. I believed that she was dead and I carried her on my back and proceeded to pond. I walked with her for a distance and felt that she was still alive but that she was only weak. I placed her down and she stood, but she appeared to be weak.
“I then strangled her again until I made sure that she was dead. I then took her body and threw it in water. When I threw her into the water, I then went back home, took a bath and slept.
“The reason why I killed the now deceased is that my first wife Pedzisai Kachepa claimed maintenance for the three children. Tanyaradzwa, the now deceased and Tanaka Kavhumbura so the court ordered me to pay $30.00 for each child totaling $90.00. This prompted me to think that if I kill Rufaro Lydia Kavhumbura the money would be affordable.
“I managed to kill the now deceased who loved me more than others, so it was easy for me to get hold of her, this is why I killed her amongst the others.” online.
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