A 19-year-old teenager who fought off and killed a sex pest who was attempting to rape her has been arrested and charged with murder.
Online publication Zimlive reports that the police confirmed that the young woman, Tariro Matutsa of Nyenda Village, Mutoko was charged with murder following the death of 40-year old Sure Tsuro.
According to an internal police memo that detailed the incident, Tsuro had been repeatedly harassing Matutsa and demanding sexual favours from her.
On June 7, Tsuro is reported to have gone to the young woman’s home in the morning. The 19-year-old was alone and was preparing rice for breakfast when Tsuro proposed love to her and started harassing her.
“Tsuro proposed love to the accused person who turned him down. Tsuro went on to take a pot containing rice from the fireplace and threatened to throw it away in protest. He later withdrew his intention and brought it back to the fireplace before going away.”
After his unsuccessful attempts in the morning, Tsuro returned to the woman’s home in the evening. Once again, she was alone and this time she was preparing supper.
“Tsuro went on to propose love demanding consent for sexual intercourse from Matutsa. The accused person again turned him down. The now-deceased went on to spill a boiling pot containing meat in protest. The accused picked up the pieces of meat from the ground and washed them with water.”
“Tsuro persisted, demanding to have sexual intercourse with Matutsa, and the accused person refused. Tsuro suddenly produced his erect penis and charged towards the accused person. The accused person took a glowing piece of firewood, extinguished it using water that was in a bucket at the fireplace, and assaulted the now deceased several times on the legs and hands.
“The accused person also assaulted the now deceased twice on the head using the same log. Tsuro staggered away from the fireplace and walked out of the yard. He fell to the ground 10 meters away in the middle of a dirt road leading to Jumbe Business Centre.”
Following the trying ordeal with the sex pest, Matutsa informed her neighbour Patricia Makwanya of what had happened. Makwanya and Matutsa then sought the aid of Tsuro’s relative, Kudzanayi Tsuro. The three of them moved the would-be rapist into Makwanya’s kitchen since he was injured.
When Makwanya went to check on Tsuro the following day, she found him dead. The police were notified of the situation, which led to the arrest of Matutsa. The log that Matutsa had used in defending herself was collected as evidence by the police.
“The log used by the accused to assault the now deceased was recovered and is being held as exhibit. Tsuro’s body was conveyed to Murewa District Hospital pending a postmortem,” police said.
In a similar case, in 2018, Benhildah Dandajena, a visually impaired housemaid who killed her colleague and gardener after stabbing him in the heart when he tried to rape her was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to 3 years in prison.
18 months were suspended on condition of good behaviour leaving Benhildah with an effective 18-months in prison.
Despite telling the court that she acted in self-defence, Harare Magistrate Bianca Makwande blamed Benhildah and said the would-be rapist Pfungwa Chimuchengwa’s life could have been saved had the maid responded more appropriately.
“Your self-defence was excessive since the deceased was not armed. You could have averted the danger by calling for help,” she said.
“You stabbed the deceased on his vital organ of the body which shows force. His family moved to the village because of his death and his wife was pregnant at that time.”
Fortunately for Benhildah, the culpable homicide conviction was later quashed, after the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association challenged the conviction at the High Court. Speaking on the High Court ruling which freed Benhildah her lawyer Advocate Patti Kachidza said,
“This is not a licence to kill. It is simply a ruling arrived at when all the facts had been gathered that indeed she had not intended to kill the deceased and in fact, he ran into a knife she was wielding.
“She had been back to the wall and he ran into it. Women should defend themselves and this landmark case does not say people can go around using deadly force on their attackers.”
After her ordeal and stint in Prison, Benhildah’s employers welcomed her and gave her back her old job saying they never doubted that she acted in self-defence.
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