However, a Bulawayo High Court sentenced him to death by hanging yesterday after he was found guilty by Justice Kamocha Kamocha.
According to the Chronicle, Mutero raped the child in a bush before assaulting her all over the body with an unknown object until she fell unconscious.
He then carried the now-deceased toddler, Chipochashe Ndlovu, to his homestead where she later died as a result of the assault.
Justice Kamocha in his judgment ruled that they were aggravating circumstances in the manner in which Mutero murdered his stepdaughter.
He was convicted for murder with actual intent.
According to Justice Kamocha, heinous were Mutero’s actions and only capital punishment was the right sentence in the circumstances.
The judge ruled, “I was unable to find anything which can be regarded as an extenuating circumstance. In the result, the sentence of this court is that you be returned to custody. The sentence of death be executed upon you according to the law.”
The police prosecutor, Nwabayi Mutawi, had earlier told the court that the convict had after assaulting the little girl, carried her to the homestead, where he lied to his wife that she was under epilepsy episode attack.
He said the girl later died and Mutero arranged for her to be buried in Nkomonye Village under Chief Nyamhondo, Mberengwa.
The prosecutor said the village head, however, became suspicious and reported the matter to the police and this led to Mutero’s arrest.
“A postmortem revealed the cause of death as unascertained due to decomposition as well as lacerated rectum and sexual abuse.”