Chief Court Reporter
A JAILED Chivhu man’s bid to overturn conviction and 13-year jail term imposed on him for murdering his wife at the height of a domestic dispute over adultery, 10 years ago, has failed after the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.
Kizito Mutsure doused his wife Modester Chikaka with paraffin and set her on fire accusing her of engaging in extra-marital affairs with another man in October 2011.
Mutsure denied murdering his wife when the trial opened before Justice Tawanda Chitapi in July 2018, but the court found him guilty of murder with constructive intent and slapped him with 13 years’ imprisonment.
Mutsure appealed at the Supreme Court against both the conviction and sentence arguing his prospects of success on appeal were high. But a three-judge panel comprising lead judge Justice Susan Mavangira, Justice Tendai Uchena and Justice Lavender Makoni upheld the High Court verdict.
Writing the judgment for the court, Justice Mavangira said in the absence of misdirection by the trial court there was no basis for Supreme Court to interfere with the conviction.
“No submissions having been made in relation to sentence, this will be taken as a concession that the appeal against sentence has no merit,” she said.
“No basis has been established for interference with the same. Consequently, it is thus found that there is no merit in this appeal. It is accordingly ordered that appeal be and is hereby dismissed in its entirety.”
The trial court heard that on October 2011 at house number 221 Ephraim Blank Street, Chivhu, Mutsure unlawfully caused Modester’s death by pouring paraffin over her body and setting her on fire, causing severe burns all over her body, from which injuries she died on October 26 2011.
Mutsure had denied that charge claiming Chikaka had poured paraffin over her body and set herself alight.
But after a full trial Mutsure was found guilty of murder with constructive intent and was slapped with the lengthy imprisonment term.