THE High Court has retained a special verdict and sent to Mlondolozi Mental Institution, a Binga man who fatally axed his two nephews after establishing that he was suffering from a mental illness when he committed the horrendous crime last year.
Themba Muleya (39) of Sikhalala village under Chief Dobola is an ex-convict who had been jailed in 2010 for killing his brother and released from prison on Presidential amnesty in 2018.
He has a history of mental illness which dates back to childhood when he started abusing alcohol and drugs, according to a report from psychiatrists.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese, sitting at the Hwange High Court circuit yesterday, invoked Section 29 of the Mental Health Act and found Muleya not guilty of two counts of murder.
The court had entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of Muleya who had admitted to the charges.
Muleya, who was represented pro-deo by Mr Charles Mleza of Legal Aid Directorate, said he was not mentally stable when he committed the crimes. “The court is satisfied that the accused was suffering from mental illness at the time he committed the crimes and finds him not guilty in terms of Section 29 of the Mental Health Act. The accused has to be returned to prison pending transfer to Mlondolozi Special Institution for further mental examination as the accused is a danger to society,” said Justice Makonese.
The judge said the court took into consideration a report from a psychiatrist who examined Muleya last year that while a psychiatrists’ tribunal had cleared him as mentally fit in 2017, he still exhibited abnormal tendencies including using his fingers to wipe himself after defecating.
Soon after delivery of judgment, Muleya who elected to speak for himself in English without being assisted by an interpreter, asked Justice Makonese what he meant by saying he was a danger to society.
The judge responded: “Are you taking medication? If they feel you are now ok they will release you but for now don’t stop taking your medication.”
For the State, Mrs Martha Cheda said Muleya used an axe to kill his nephews Vivid Muleya and Sialeba Reveal Tshuma who were both aged five and were residing at the same homestead with him.
Muleya hit Vivid with the back of the axe before axing him with it. He turned to Sialeba and struck him on the neck with the same axe and both minors fell down and died on the spot.