An aggrieved lover has been sentenced death for murdering his lover and her three minor children in a premeditated crime of passion.
The convict, Bernard Mazhandi Mucheka (49) appeared in court facing four counts of attempted murder and four counts of murder.
Circumstances surrounding the matter are that in April 2013, Mazhande could not contain the burning love for his younger mistress, the now deceased Loraine Mtetwa, who cut short their wild passions after discovering that she had been lied to as Mazhande was married and with kids.
Overwhelmed by the bitterness of losing all the investments he had made in the relationship, Mazhande proceeded to a fueling station, purchased five litres of petrol before boarding a bus to Epworth where Mtetwa resided with her three minor children and waited for the midnight cover to strike.
It is said after having carefully strategised his plan, Mazhande poured petrol on the doormat blocking the exit option for the occupants in the house before proceeding to the window which he broke and also poured more petrol then threw the container inside that the petrol spread before torching the house down with no second thoughts with the minors inside.
To his ignorance, the house was occupied by eight individuals, four of which were visitors whose unfortunate fate had brought them to the house on the fateful night.
The state said that the trapped persons screamed for help as they were trapped in the burning house and their neighbours later came to the rescue but they had already been burnt and after five days Mtetwa and her three children who were sleeping in the bedroom succumbed to the injuries and died.
The remaining four survivors were left scarred for life and deformed in the process.
Mazhande was arrested when neighbours exposed the threats he had conveyed to Mtetwa via messages to the police, leading to his arrest.
High Court Judge, Justice Muremba treated all counts as one in her judgement, sentencing him to a death penalty.
“There are very little mitigatory circumstances in the matter as the murders were premeditated and executed in the most gruesome and excruciating manner,” she said.
She added, “He was well aware that the now deceased lived with her minor children who were innocent in the matter but he went on with his plan, murdering them in cold blood while considering them as collateral damage and this ticks the favour of a death sentence as stipulated in section 47 (a) of the Criminal Law and Codification Act.
“The court has a discretion according to section 47 (4)(a) the sentence can be death, life imprisonment or 20 years if the offense is of agravatory circumstances. His mitigations are not enough to sway us from the death penalty and as such, he is sentenced to death.”
However, Zimbabwe has no hangman at the moment and there are other people who are on the waiting list, waiting for their fate as well who are being joined by Mazhande is joining.
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