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Man bags 20-year jail sentence for killing wife and letting their little kids sleep next to her corpse

A Zimbabwean man, Bambanani Ndlovu, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of his wife, Happiness Ngwenya, and forcing their young children to sleep beside her dead body.

Bulawayo High Court Judge Evangelista Kabasa convicted Ndlovu, condemning his actions as a horrific instance of gender-based violence.

Ndlovu claimed he acted in self-defense, alleging that Ngwenya grabbed his testicles during an argument, but the court rejected this defence. The incident occurred after Ndlovu returned home late, leading to a dispute during which he strangled Ngwenya in front of their children. He then forced the children to sleep beside their mother’s corpse, further traumatizing them.

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Judge Kabasa highlighted the brutality of the crime, stating that a home should be a sanctuary of peace and love. She noted the severe psychological impact on the children, especially given Ndlovu’s threat to harm his daughter if she reported the incident. The court also heard testimony from the couple’s five-year-old daughter, who described the violent attack.

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Emphasizing the lack of mitigating factors and the aggravating circumstances, Judge Kabasa ruled that the standard 15-year sentence for such offences was insufficient. Instead, she imposed a 20-year sentence, considering the presence of the children, the retention of the body in the house, and Ndlovu’s attempts to mislead about the cause of death.

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