A 48-YEAR-OLD Gwanda businesswoman, who hit her niece with a ploughshare once on the head after being accused of practicing witchcraft to enhance her business, was lucky to escape jail after she was ordered to pay $200 fine before year end.
Trezia Moyo of Nkwidzi village had denied the charges when she appeared before magistrate Olivia Mashava Mashaire facing assault charges, but was convicted after a full trial. In her defence Moyo claimed she had fought back and overpowered the complainant who struck the first blow.
Getrude Zvidzai told the court that on December 9 Moyo called her 24-year-old niece Nohlengo Sibanda to her home.
Moyo asked Sibanda why she was going around the whole village telling people that she was the one who caused the deaths of her two children for ritual purposes.
“She then grabbed her and started assaulting her using fists and once on the right eye using a ploughshare,” Zvidzai said.
In her judgment the magistrate said it was evident Moyo was the aggressor who misbehaved as an adult.
“You were supposed to behave like an elderly person and call other elders to discuss such a sensitive matter as you have indicated there is acrimony among family members and not take things into your hands,” she said.
“As an elderly rural businesswoman you should be a role model to the little ones who should look up to you for inspiration and not the other way round.”
In passing sentence Mashaire said she had taken into account that Moyo was a first time offender and a mother of two children, she, however, lamented the use of a weapon in the assault saying it was aggravatory.