A Shurugwi man has been sentenced to 2 years behind bars for accidentally killing his 13-year-old son during a harsh beating.

Chengerai Mandiziva flew into a rage after overhearing his son Takunda gossiping with his stepmother Berita Mapiye about Mandiziva’s affairs. He ordered Takunda inside and snatched a tree branch to use as a switch.

Mandiziva then savagely beat Takunda on his back and butt0cks with the limb. Takunda asked his father for water, which Mandiziva and his wife gave him.

But around 6:30pm, Berita noticed Takunda had fallen unconscious. An autopsy found the boy had died from traumatic sh0ck and internal injuries caused by the brutal beating.

In court, Mandiziva admitted his actions were negligent but claimed he didn’t mean to kill Takunda – he just wanted to discipline the boy for gossiping. The prosecutor accepted Mandiziva’s plea of culpable homicide, meaning unintentional killing through negligence.

High Court Judge Christopher Dube-Banda sentenced Mandiziva to 3 years in prison, suspending 1 year. The judge said Mandiziva’s fatal error was letting his anger push him too far in inflicting corporal punishment.

In the end, Mandiziva’s fit of rage over Takunda’s gossip cost the boy his life – and ultimately cost Mandiziva 2 years of his own.