Gweru man sentenced for malicious damage to property and assault over bar joke


GWERU –  A 46-year-old man from Gweru, Joseph McCarthy, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Gweru Magistrates' Court. The charges include one count of assault and two counts of malicious damage to property, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

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The incident occurred on April 17th, when McCarthy and Rodreck Munyanyiwa, the brother of the complainant, were drinking at Woodlands Shops in Gweru. 

A joke made by Munyanyiwa upset McCarthy, who then left the bar.

McCarthy went to the residence of Munyaradzi Munyanyiwa, the complainant, in search of Rodreck but did not find him. 

He attacked Munyaradzi, who suffered an eye injury but managed to escape, leaving McCarthy in his room. McCarthy then set fire to Munyaradzi's blanket, completely destroying the room.

The fire spread to the neighboring house, a 13-room property belonging to Rebecca Nyathi, causing it to burn down. McCarthy fled the scene, but not before confessing to a security guard at the Woodlands Phase 1 Shops.

Munyaradzi Munyanyiwa and his neighbors apprehended McCarthy and handed him over to the police. The total value of the damaged property is estimated at USD$22,415.

McCarthy's 10-year sentence includes a suspension of 3 years. 

An additional 4 years were suspended on the condition that he pays restitution of USD 21,000 to Rebecca Nyathi, and 1 year was suspended on the condition of restitution of USD$755 to Munyaradzi Munyanyiwa. 

As a result, McCarthy will effectively serve 2 years.

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