A CHIPINGE man who went berserk and randomly attacked his in-laws with a machete and eventually fatally struck his 17-months-old daughter with the deadly weapon in the ensuing melee was yesterday jailed for 25 years after being convicted of murder with actual intent.
Mutare High Court judge, Justice Isaac Muzenda, convicted Gorden Mhlanga of Chikware village under Chief Musikavanhu of intentionally killing his daughter Anzilla, who was strapped on her mother’s back during the gruesome attack.
Principal public prosecutor Ms Jane-Rose Matsikidze, prosecuted.
The court heard that the suspect was married to Tendai Sithole and the couple was blessed with three children, including the deceased.
Mhlanga and his wife had a long standing marital dispute over infidelity allegations.
“As are result of the disputes, Sithole would often flee from her matrimonial home and sought refuge at her parents’ homestead. On May 18 she ran away from home together with deceased child. The following day while she was at her parents’ home resting with other family members around a fire at around 8pm, the accused person crept out of the darkness armed with a machete.
“He used the machete to indiscriminately strike his in-laws. He struck several family members including his wife, who was carrying the deceased child on her back. In striking his wife with the machete one of the blows struck the deceased child on the head. After committing the offence the suspect bolted from the scene,” said Ms Matsikidze.
The injured were rushed to St Peters’ Mission Hospital where the deceased succumbed to injuries she sustained during the attack.
During the trial the State called several witnesses who gave an account of how the suspect attacked his in-laws and later killed his own daughter.
Sithole told the court that their marriage was tumultuous and largely characterised by allegations of infidelity. She said she always fled to her parents’ homestead each time they quarrelled.
She said on the day in question she was chased by the suspect during the attack before the machete caught her on the shoulder. At the same time, her daughter, whom she was carrying on the back, screamed in pain. The machete had also landed on her head as well.