A 27-year-old man from Gweru has been sentenced to eight years in prison after he was convicted of beating his 16-year-old sister to death after accusing her of being promiscuous. This was after the brother discovered that the Form 3 teen was dating 6 boyfriends after going through her WhatsApp messages.
Terrence Tarisai of Clifton Park pleaded not guilty to the murder of his sister Tryphine when he appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva. Following a full trial, however, Justice Takuva dismissed the murder charge against Tarisai. He found him guilty of culpable homicide instead.
In passing sentence, the High Court judge lamented the increase in cases of excessive use of force against minors during disciplining. The Herald reports Justice Takuva as saying,
“There is a need for parents and guardians to avoid excessive force when disciplining their children because it leads to unnecessary loss of life. A young life was lost unnecessarily. The accused is found guilty of culpable homicide and is sentenced to eight years in prison. A year of his sentence is suspended on condition of good behaviour.”
During the trial, the court heard that on July 22, 2020, Tarisai returned home and discovered that Tryphine was absent and had left her 10-year- old sister, alone.
Tryphine who was a Form 3 student at Ascot High School in Gweru returned home at around 6 PM. She told her brother that she had been to the shops. However, Tarisai did not believe her. He grabbed her phone and went through her WhatsApp messages where he discovered that she was dating multiple boyfriends. He threatened to beat her up accusing her of being promiscuous.
Sensing danger, Tryphine fled home and sought refuge at her aunt’s place in Mtapa Section 7, Gweru. The next morning, the aunt accompanied Tryphine back home.
After talking through the matter, Tarisai said that he was going to discipline his sister for being promiscuous. He then proceeded to beat her up with a black cord. Tarisai then ordered his sister to call all 6 boyfriends to end the relationship, before continuing to assault her.
After the assault, Tryphine complained that she was feeling cold and was put in bed by her aunt. She died in her sleep a few hours later leading to the arrest of Tarisai.