By JULIA DAIA BORE
LUTHERAN church pastor Kandata Maua was jailed 16 years by the National Court yesterday for murdering his brother over kunai grass in 2008.
In sentencing, Wabag National Court judge Justice Graham Ellis said: “It is that role (you play as a church pastor) which makes me wonder how you could have committed this offence.
“I find it difficult to understand how someone who is supposed to teach people how they should live, could even think of hitting another human being on the head.
“What makes this case worse is the person you struck was your own brother.”
“I am used to sentencing people in Enga in cases where the death of a person occurs after an argument over a pig. This is the first time the argument is over kunai grass.
“I know that kunai grass is important for the building of houses and that it is something of value but its value is much, much less than the value of a human life.
“After all, the kunai grass can be replaced, it will grow again. But the life of a human being, such as John Maua, cannot be replaced.”
Kandata was found guilty of killing John in Pagalimanda, Wapenamanda, on Aug 20, 2008.
The court heard that the murder occurred when John started arguing with his nephew over kunai grass. Kandata then hit John at the back of the head with the blunt side of the head of an axe.
Justice Ellis said people caught in an argument needed to keep calm and not resort to violence.
“That is an important lesson for everyone in Enga, not just you.
“You should understand that if it wasn’t for your age (55) and your health problems, your sentence would be in the region of 20 years and perhaps more,” he said.
The court also considered that Kandata suffered from tuberculosis.
“Taking into consideration what has been said by you and by your lawyer, I sentence you to imprisonment with light labour for 16 years.”