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A PLUMTREE man who stormed into his grandmother’s bedroom while she was asleep and choked her to death before robbing her of R1 700 has been sentenced to 23 years in jail.
Wahile Nkomo (20) of Madlambuzi village was convicted of murder with actual intent by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva in connection with the death of Wani Sibanda (71).
In his judgment, Justice Takuva said it was clear that Nkomo was in full control of his faculties when he stormed into his grandmother’s bedroom and killed her.
“You were not intoxicated or possessed when you committed the crime. It is clear that you were in full control of your faculties and your objective and aim was to kill the deceased and accordingly I find you guilty of murder with actual intent,” said the judge.
He said the murder was well planned and committed in the course of a robbery.
“You killed a 71-year-old frail and helpless woman who was actually your guardian taking care of your welfare at her homestead,” said the judge.
Justice Takuva said the crime was committed out of greed.
“The courts have a duty to protect the sanctity of human life. Your conduct was motivated by greed. You did not show contrition, but instead you lied to your relatives that your grandmother died a natural death when you knew that you actually killed her,” said the judge.
He said Nkomo was a wicked and heartless young man who deserved to rot in jail.
Justice Takuva also expressed concern over an increase in the number of murder cases among other serious crimes committed by youths.
“Sadly, these brutal murders are committed by youthful offenders aged between 18 and 23. They commit despicable offences such as robbery, rape and murder targeting the most vulnerable and this calls for courts to adjust the sentencing trends in order to deter would be offenders,” he said.
Justice Takuva said attaching the element of youthfulness particularly on murder cases committed in a callous manner was no longer a mitigatory factor.
Prosecuting, Mrs Sifiso Sibanda said on March 15, 2014, Sibanda and Nkomo retired to their bedrooms.
She said shortly after 10PM, Nkomo woke up and proceeded to his grandmother’s bedroom.
He stormed into Sibanda’s bedroom and found her sleeping on a rubber mattress.
“The accused person grabbed the now deceased’s neck and strangled her. Soon after killing his grandmother, Nkomo left the room and went to sleep in his bedroom,” said Mrs Sibanda.
The following morning at about 6AM, Nkomo woke up and went to his grandmother’s bedroom and stole R1 700 which was hidden in the brassiere.
As he was leaving the deceased’s room, Nkomo was spotted by his sister-in-law, Ms Lucia Sibanda, coming out.
Lucia became suspicious and went to check. She found the old woman dead in her room and she alerted some neighbours.
Nkomo, through his lawyer Mr Bruce Masamvu of Dube-Tachiona and Tsvangirai Legal Practitioners, said he was influenced by his mother to commit the crime, alleging that Sibanda was a witch. — By Mashudu Netsiandasource-chronicle