A Murehwa man, who attempted to forcibly bed his mother before strangling her to death will now spend 20 years behind bars.

Titus Mafuka (36) of Chidhakwa Village under Chief Chitsungo in Pfungwe, is understood to have demanded to be intimate with his mother as a way of breaking a spell she had allegedly cast on him.

Mafuka believed his mother, Grace Kadzondera, had bewitched him, resulting in his failure to sustain an erection each time he intended to have sexual intercourse with his wife. As a result of his failure to fulfil his conjugal obligations, Mafuka strangely undressed in full view of his wife, spread the bed before grabbing his mother.

He ordered the mother to lie on the bed. After unsuccessfully trying to have sex with her, Mafuka then strangled his mother to death. High Court judge Justice Amy Tsanga sentenced Mafuka to 20 years in jail for murder. For attempting to have sexual intercourse with a person within a prohibited degree of consanguinity, Justice Tsanga slapped Mafuka with a two-year jail term that will run concurrently with his initial term.

Effectively, Mafuka will be locked up for 20 years. After the dreadful incident, Mafuka took his family and travelled to Mutoko, leaving the corpse on the floor.

The corpse was discovered five days later in an advanced state of decomposition. The horrendous incident occurred at the end of last year. Court papers indicate the saga started on September 2, 2016 when Mafuka approached the village head, Dennis Bingura, and reported that his mother was bewitching him.

Bingura called Mafuka’s mother, but failed to resolve the matter, after which he referred the dispute to headman Jamari, who later invited a prophet for a witch-hunting exercise. The State alleges the prophet, one Clive Mungazi, came and gathered the villagers and after conducting his ceremony, declared that Kadzondera was not a spirit medium, but a witch.

Kadzondera admitted to practising witchcraft and was ordered to pay two beasts. Prior to his mother’s admission, Mafuka had also invited a prophetess, Erina Mbofana, who recovered several witchcraft paraphernalia at Kadzondera’s homestead, which were burnt in full view of other villagers.

However, on the eve of the murder, Mafuka and his wife invited his mother into his hut during the day and demanded to have sexual intercourse with her, but the mother refused.

Mafuka then asked his mother to make a confession. The deceased later confessed to killing Mafuka’s father and several other relatives. She also confessed to bewitching Mafuka. Following the said confession, Mafuka reportedly ordered his mother to slaughter her chicken for him and to give him a dollar to buy dagga.

The following morning, he proceeded to her bedroom, strangled her to death and ordered his family to leave the village. The decomposing body was found five days later by Mafuka’s sister and the matter was reported to the police, leading to his arrest.