The Court of Appeal (CoA) has overturned the death sentence of a father who cut open and killed his five-month-old baby back in 2015.
34-year-old Tonderai Kakamba could hardly contain his relief this Wednesday when the judges ruled he would not hang by the neck for killing his newborn.
Instead, Kakamba will serve 22 years behind bars for the brutal murder backdated to the time he has already spent in jail.
The convicted killer was found guilty of slitting his child’s throat open following a misunderstanding with the baby’s mother.
“Whatever possible misunderstandings or problems could have arisen between appellant (Kakamba) and the baby’s mother had absolutely nothing to do with the baby,” the CoA judges found.
Kakamba was initially charged with three counts: murder, attempted murder and entering Botswana at an ungazetted point of entry. He pleaded not guilty to the first two counts and guilty to the last offence.
After being found guilty and sentenced to death by the High Court, Kakamba appealed the judgment, arguing he should be spared the hangman’s noose as there were extenuating circumstances that led to his horrific actions.
“On the day (of the murder) he had imbibed various blends of intoxicating alcohol. He drank two bottles of Copper Band and six boxes of Chibuku Shake Shake,” read court-records.
Outlining why Kakamba would be spared his life, the CoA ruled, “It was a wrong test for the trial court to assume that in law only a defined degree of intoxication was required to constitute an extenuating factor. The law is that a trial court should consider the cumulative effect of possible extenuating factors. It misdirected itself if it considers and dismisses each factor in isolation.”
Handing down the new judgment, the CoA declared, “Appellant is sentenced to 22 years imprisonment to be backdated to the time he has been in prison custody in relation to this case.”