Woman escapes with suspended sentence over granddaughter’s death 

Simbarashe Mtembo


MASVINGO –An 80-year-old woman whose granddaughter fell and died as she tried to escape whipping for sleeping out has been given a two-year wholly suspended sentence for culpable homicide.

High Court Judge at Masvingo, Justice Garainesu Mawadze handed Elizabeth Mugadza of Serima Village, Chief Serima in Chatsworth the sentence.

The assault happened on July 4, 2021.

The State told the court that Monalisa Mutuka (18) arrived home at 5: 30 pm after sleeping out the previous night. Mugadza confronted Monalisa but she ignored her and went straight to her room. 

The court was told that Monalisa was in the habit of sleeping out and returning home on the next day. 

Mugadza followed her granddaughter with a switch and began assaulting her on the back. Monalisa slipped and hit her head on a bed as she tried to escape the beating. 

Mugadza was represented by Isabel Moyo of Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Law firm. 

Prosecutor Edwin Mbavarira and Moyo agreed that Mugadza was negligent in the manner she assaulted Monalisa. They agreed that Mugadza be acquitted of murder and instead be found guilty of culpable homicide. 

Justice Mawadze said Mugadza was callous in her assault but she did not waste the court’s time by pleading guilty. He also considered that Mugadza is an old woman who has nothing more to offer to the society and will only be a burden in prison.

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