In one of the most horrifying child murder cases many can remember, Zimbabwe’s High Court has sentenced a man to death because no extenuating circumstances could be found for the excruciating sexual abuse and mutilation of a three-year-old child.
Many were shocked when they heard about the case of Samson Mutero, 43, who raped his stepdaughter Chipochashe Ndlovu, in a remote part of central Zimbabwe in 2013 before assaulting her all over her body until she was unconscious.
He then carried her back to his home, where she died.
After he buried her, the local traditional leader became suspicious and called the police, who then had the little girl dug up and her body subjected to a post mortem where the horrifying injuries were discovered.
Mutero was found guilty in 2015 of the child’s murder with actual intent by Justice Lawrence Kamocha.
But the new Zimbabwe constitution presented technical issues which his pro amicus legal team used to appeal both conviction and sentence.
But finally this week, the original conviction was confirmed and Bulawayo’s Chronicle newspaper reported that Mutero was sentenced to death.
“I am unable to find anything which can be regarded as an extenuating circumstance, as a result, the sentence of this court is that you be returned to custody. The sentence of death be executed upon you, according to the law, Judge Kamocha said.
Zimbabwe hasn’t had a hangman for about 10 years, and there are moves by some in the legal field, in particular, vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, to abolish the death sentence.