A 22-year-old pregnant woman died at the hands of her violent and abusive husband.
The deceased left behind a three-year-old minor child and her pregnancy status was revealed through a postmortem.
Her husband, Macdonald Chivero (31), has since been sentenced to four years in prison, without the option of a fine, by High Court Judge Justice Lucie-Anne Mungwari.
The row between the couple was based on accusations of infidelity.
The State alleged the couple’s relationship was characterised by domestic disputes, with Chivero in the habit of assaulting his late wife.
Allegations are that on February 14, 2021, Chivero struck his wife on the head with an iron bar.
Two weeks later, he attacked her again, all over her body, using fists and hands.
The matter was reported to the police.
Despite the police report, on March 14, 2021, Chivero again assaulted his wife with a pot and, two days later, she started vomiting blood. Five days later, the deceased was taken by her aunt to her parent’s house for spiritual cleansing but later died.
In her ruling, Justice Mungwari noted that Chivero had displayed shocking behaviour.
“The callousness displayed by the accused towards his own pregnant wife is more than shocking, it is also alarming,” ruled the judge.
“The persistent prolonged and intermittent assaults upon her dictate that she could not have survived. The very act of using violence at all, let alone on a pregnant woman, is an act of gross negligence.”
The judge added; “It should be made clear to the society that disputes, of whatever kind and manner, cannot and should not be resolved by violence as this, in most instances, results in the loss of life as occurred here.
“The factual circumstances suggest that the accused is a character that has a lot of anger issues and requires a lot of maturing.
“His personal circumstances are those where the accused needs to consciously rehabilitate himself towards non-violence.”
Justice Mungwari said a deterrent sentence would scare perpetrators.
“There is, therefore, a need for a deterrent sentence that will send word to men in the society that courts do not condone the battering of their wives.
“Four years imprisonment, of which one year is suspended for five years on condition that the accused does not, within that period, commit any offence involving the use of violence on another person.”