1 June 2018
A 38-year-old mentally disturbed man from Kwekwe has been spared a jail term for stabbing his wife to death with a kitchen knife after he mistook her for a lion, the court heard.
Godfrey Sibanda was spared jail after the Gweru High Court ruled that he was mentally unstable. Sibanda had appeared before High Court Justice Nicolas Mathonsi facing charges of murder.
In his defence, Sibanda said, “I saw her appearing as a lion so I grabbed a knife and stabbed the lion; I then realized later that I had killed my wife.”
Justice Mathosi said, “Sibanda should not be held responsible for his actions, because of his mental condition. Instead he should get some serious help, therefore I see it fit not to send him back to jail but instead should be transferred to a mental institution.”
It is the State’s case that, Sibanda had a heated argument with his wife Moline Maimba (25) and he did not sleep at home that night. He then went home the next morning where he found his wife sleeping and stabbed her several times on the chest and the back. Gift Muradza their neighbour, rushed to their house when he heard Maimba screaming calling for help and found Sibanda on top of her stabbing her.
The court heard that a Russian psychiatrist from a mental hospital in Bulawayo confirmed that Sibanda suffered from a mental disorder, epilepsy and was also asthmatic as a result of substance abuse (cannabis abuse.)
It was also confirmed that Sibanda’s family had a history of mental illness since his mother was also a psychiatric patient. It is alleged that the family is possessed with an ancestral spirit. His two brothers are also mentally challenged and they have been seeking help from traditional healers for a long time.