SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE
GWAUNZA JA, PATEL JA & GUVAVA JA
BULAWAYO, NOVEMBER 25, 2013
V. Majoko, for the appellant
T. Hove, for the respondent
PATEL JA: The appellant in this matter was charged with two separate counts of attempted murder and murder. On the first count, he was alleged to have struck his twenty-two (22) year old wife once on the head with an axe, causing her to sustain a depressed skull fracture of the right temporal region. On the second count, it was alleged that the appellant struck his thirty-one (31) year old sister-in- law twice on the head with an axe, thereby causing her death.
In his warned-and-cautioned statements, he admitted his guilt on both counts. Both statements were subsequently confirmed before a magistrate. However, at his trial, he pleaded not guilty to both counts. His defence was that he was motivated by anger and provocation.
At the end of his trial, the court a quo found the appellant guilty on the first count of attempted murder following a concession by his counsel, properly made, that he was so guilty. On the second count of murder, the court rejected his defence of provocation and found him guilty of murder with actual intent. The court did not consider or impose any sentence for the conviction for attempted murder. As for the conviction for murder, the court appears not to have addressed the question of extenuation, but proceeded nonetheless to impose the sentence of death.