By Patrick Chitumba
Midlands provincial education inspector Fred Nyamhanga Shavi (64) has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of his wife of 14 years, Netsai Ncube, who was a lecturer at the Midlands State University.
Shavi of Southdowns suburb in Gweru was yesterday convicted of murder with constructive intent by Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Martin Makonese who is on circuit in Gweru.
Through his pro-deo lawyer Mr Esau Mandipa, Shavi had pleaded guilty to a lesser crime of culpable homicide.
Justice Makonese castigated Shavi for murdering his wife for having an extra marital affair with one Prosper Maburo from Gweru when he was himself suspected of having an extra marital affair with his ex-wife whose name was not given.
The judge said in mitigation, Shavi had pointed out that Ncube had also failed to end her extra marital affair with Maburo even when Shavi had asked the two parties to end the adulterous affair.
He said Shavi murdered his wife in a barbaric and despicable manner after delivering three fatal blows on her head using a homemade mattock.
Justice Makonese said after attacking Ncube, Shavi went on to lock the house doors and gate before fleeing to Sanyati instead of rendering assistance or calling for medical assistance.
“The offence committed is a very serious one and the accused’s moral blameworthiness is extremely high based on the savage attack on the deceased’s head using a dangerous weapon with excessive force as shown by the post-mortem report. After that, the accused fled from the scene and failed to render any form of assistance. The accused didn’t show any signs of remorse. The court will also take into account that the deceased didn’t terminate her affair with Maburo and the accused himself was accused of having an affair with his ex-wife. So both parties are equally guilty,” he said.
“This was a barbaric and despicable offence against a defenceless woman. You delivered three fatal blows on her head and she died a painful death and to reflect the seriousness of the offence you are sentenced to 20 years in prison.”
Justice Makonese said it had been said in court that Maburo would at times phone the accused’s cell phone and the accused would pass on the phone to Ncube to speak with her boyfriend.
Shavi argued that he killed his wife in self-defence after she tried to attack him with a hoe in their bedroom following differences over extra-marital issues.
Shavi said he married his wife in 2001.
In 2005, the court heard, the deceased started to behave differently; coming home late at night and sometimes would not come home at all.
Prosecutor, Mr Mirirai Shumba said on February 27 last year at house number 33 Wentworth Road in Southdowns, Shavi had a misunderstanding with Ms Ncube after suspecting that she was cheating on him. The Chronicle