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Teacher forgives colleague for panga attack in fight over stunning female intern

When machete wielding teacher Timothy Musembi attacked his colleague, Alphonce Orina, at Karoti Girls High School in Mwea, Kirinyaga County over a female intern, he had no idea that even the most horrendous experiences can lead to redemption through forgiveness.

Despite the crippling pain of being largely unable to move because of panga cuts unleashed on him by the accused, Mr Orina on Wednesday told a Wang’uru court that he had forgiven his attacker and did not wish to pursue the matter any further.

The court acquitted Mr Musembi, 34, of attempted murder charges.

He had been charged with unlawfully attempting to cause the death of Mr Orina, 26, by slashing his head and hands with a machete on March 2.

Senior principal magistrate Gerald Mutiso noted that the two gentlemen, both alike in dignity and in the same profession, were teaching at Karoti, which was the scene of the crime.

They taught peacefully until a fourth-year female university student was posted to the school on teaching practice.

“That is when all hell broke loose and the devil, according to the accused, took over his mental faculties,” said the magistrate.

Mr Orina informed the court that the accused attacked and cut him several times with a machete on his head because he had started a relationship with the said young woman.

Apparently, the accused was in a romantic relationship with the same girl.

“The girl entered into a love relationship with me and this drew the wrath of the accused who attacked me. I sustained grave head injuries and got admitted in hospital for specialised treatment,” Mr Orina stated on oath.

The savage attack left teachers and students badly shaken, and the suspect surrendered himself to Wang’uru Police Station where he was locked up for questioning before being taken to court the following day.

While acquitting Mr Musembi, the magistrate said there was nothing repugnant to justice and morality in a man forgiving another for hacking him with a machete.

“I hold and find that Mr Orina is the complainant in this case. He is the sole victim who was hacked and reported the matter to the police. He bore the brunt of the crime. Therefore, he is the wearer of the shoe and he knows where it pinches. He has come to court and stated on oath that he wishes to withdraw the case against the accused,” he said.

However, he told the accused that no girl is worth shedding another person’s blood.

“Attractive girls and beautiful women abound. You shall talk to the girl who is the object of your desire and if she turns you down, you should lick your bruised ego and move on. Even if the girl is your girlfriend and you find her with another man, you must always hold your peace and later discuss the matter privately with your girlfriend. Violence has no place in love affairs,” he ruled.

The magistrate criticised Mr Musembi for blaming the devil over his attack on Mr Orina.

“I would say that the devil is innocent in this matter. People blame the devil for all manner of things. I don’t agree that the devil took over the mental faculties of the accused. His passions for the girl are to blame,” he said in his ruling.

The magistrate expressed hope that the accused and the complainant will no longer pursue the girl owing to the lessons learned in this case.

“I hope that the complainant and the accused have buried their hatchets and will never again bury those hatchets in one another’s skull,” he said and declared that Mr Musembi was legally acquitted.