HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
HARARE, 31 May 2018, 1, 15, 18, 29 June 2018, 6, 13, 17 July 2018 & 26 July 2018
Assessors: 1. Mr Barwa
2. Mr Chitsiga
S.W. Munyoro, for the State
A. Rubaya, for the accused
CHITAPI J: The accused is charged with the crime of murder as defined in s 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification & Reform) Act, [Chapter 9:23]. The accused pleaded not guilty to the allegations that on 23 October, he unlawfully caused the death of Modester Chikaka by pouring paraffin over her body and setting her alight with the result that Modester Chikaka suffered severe burns all over her body which is turn led to her death of 26 October, 2011.
The accused elected to give a defence outline in support of his plea of denial. The upshot of his defence outline was to the effect that the deceased poured paraffin on herself and set herself alight and that he did not pour paraffin upon the deceased nor her setting her alight. He outlined that he confronted the deceased in connection with her “suspected numerous extra marital affairs” since the deceased was his wife. He further outlined that the deceased in fact poured paraffin from a stove upon herself and “somehow” went ahead to and lit herself despite the accused’s attempt to stop the deceased from doing so. He stated that the deceased after setting herself alight, tried to “embrace the accused person intending to cause harm to him but he managed to slip away going out of the room”. He outlined that he assisted the deceased to “put off the fire by pouring some water on her at the water tape which was near the house.” He