KILLER BURIES KID IN BACKYARD. . . Mother of four bludgeons niece, keeps secret for months

The yard in Pumula where a child was murdered and buried

The yard in Pumula where a child was murdered and buried

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
A 42-YEAR-OLD mother of four from Bulawayo’s Pumula South suburb allegedly killed her four-year-old niece and buried the body at a house she was renting.

Gladys Sibanda is suspected to have killed Thandeka Moyo last year on December 9.

Police exhumed the body on Monday after Sibanda allegedly gave conflicting statements about her niece’s whereabouts.

An unidentified man from the suburb – who has since been arrested – allegedly assisted Sibanda to conceal the crime.

She allegedly dragged the little girl from where she was sleeping with her children and tried to strangle her.

Sources said when Sibanda failed to throttle the child to death, she banged her head on the floor, killing her instantly.  Police are yet to establish the motive for the murder.

Sibanda at one time allegedly told the police and her relatives that Thandeka died in Botswana in a car accident and was buried in the neighbouring country.

Shocked Pumula residents stand outside the house where a child was murdered and buried in the yard

Shocked Pumula residents stand outside the house where a child was murdered and buried in the yard

On another occasion, she is said to have claimed the child died after she had gone with her to self-proclaimed prophets.

After months of interrogation, she eventually confessed that she killed the child and buried her in the backyard before leaving the house.

A Chronicle news crew yesterday visited the house where Thandeka’s body was buried and its new occupants said they were shocked by incident.

Mrs Thembelani Bhebhe said she moved into the house on December 21 and had no knowledge of the crime.

“I’m still at a loss for words about this bizarre incident. I’m shocked to say the least. Police brought Sibanda here for indications yesterday and she directed them to where she had buried the child and they started digging. The police found the child’s skeleton. I’m still shaken by the whole thing. We didn’t know that there was grave in the yard,” said Mrs Bhebhe.

She said before coming to the house Sibanda had directed the police to Bulawayo Provincial Heroes’ Acre and another bushy area where they dug for the child to no avail.

She said during the indications Sibanda demonstrated to the police how she heartlessly killed the child.

“She entered the house and told the police that she removed her where she was sleeping with her four children. She said she tried to strangle her but seeing that the child was not dying she slammed her twice against the floor leading to her death,” she said.

Mrs Bhebhe said Sibanda revealed that she dug a shallow grave and a man from the suburb assisted her to conceal the crime.

Outraged women from the suburb yesterday said such cruelty deserves a maximum sentence.

“What sort of a mother does that? She pretended to be a church person sometimes having all night prayers here yet she had her sin hidden at the house. She is a disgrace to women. She should hang for her actions because no one can stomach knowing that she is alive and well in prison when their children will be dead,” said a woman who declined to be named.

Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed Sibanda’s arrest.

However, he could not disclose details regarding her suspected accomplice’s arrest.

“We’re investigating a suspected murder where a four year old child was allegedly killed by a 42-year-old woman who is assisting police with investigations. The child is suspected to have been killed on December, 9 and her remains were exhumed on Monday,” said Asst Insp Ncube.

“The accused was arrested after she gave conflicting statements regarding the whereabouts of her niece who was left under her guardianship.”

He urged the public to leave children with responsible adults.


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  • Kenneth Ndiraya

    terrreble indeed

  • Ziyabheda

    How was the child a niece to this woman!? In other words,what relationship was there between the kid,s parent and the murderer!? That aside,I think this woman is a heartless witch and must hang!

  • dada ngova

    Please give her to the bull terriers to savage her

  • Cetshwayo

    She needs to be murdered as well..legally through hanging. She isn’t human but an animal

    • Dunderhead

      There is no hangman in Zimbabwe, she deserves a lengthy sentence.

  • xhiba

    these murderers should be hanged

  • zikhali

    The relatives delayed making inquiries of the where about of the child , may be the child was being abused

  • muvu

    ilanga liphuma lendaba litshone lendaba lokhu okunje sokufuna siqine emthandazweni

  • Ndabezitha

    This is barbaric. Period. She must face the wrath of the law.

  • nkosi

    this is sad..what has got into pipo bakithi

  • uBhonklanti

    Yibuthakathi lobu

  • Danny

    People must not entrust anyone with their children. Most women like to leave their children in the custodian of relatives, step parents etc. Why does it take a 5 months for a parent to find out their child is dead? Real parents raise their kids every thin else comes second.

  • qondani

    Uloya emini kumele atshiswe

  • Wellington

    And they said women should not face death penalty, and with this

    • WeZaka


  • Qilindini

    Kodwa why are women so cruel to children that are not theirs ? Umntwana omncane kangaka uyabe ewoneni shuwa to deserve such cruelty ebulawa angani yinja ? This is shocking and this woman must get what she deserves that is the noose

    • WeZaka

      They know killing does not kill them. Men now know if we kill we will be killed.
      Women are now very dangerous because of this new constitution. This section needs to be revisited.

  • NS

    I suspect the little girl was beaten to death after it was discovered she had wiwi (urinated) while asleep, on realizing that she was dead, the woman tried to conceal the murder. That was very bad. I also suspect that the little girl was receiving the beating on a daily bases until the very day that she died. So sad indeed.

    • ndabaningi

      NS exactly my thoughts

  • Reason Chirandu

    MaNdex have cruel hearts.

    • Ronald Sibanda

      Inappropriate statement Chirandu; you are offside. Haunyare here?

    • Zollo

      Have you read the story in yesterday’s Chronicle about that Masvingo b* tch who brutally axed her husband to death? Go ahead; read it then come and write about regionalist cruelty.

    • Volcanic Eruption

      Who killed the ndebeles during the Gurahundi? Are all those responsible for this Ndebeles? Pregnant women were raped and mutilated? What tribe were these people, or rather what tribe are they as they are still alive? Pity on you, a young child was killed for no reason here by a sick woman who does not deserve to live amongst the society.

      • Reason Chirandu

        Do you know Enos Nkala?

        • Zollo

          Yes … he chose to be shona through washing away his Ndebeleness but couldn’t find the river where he could do it !

          • Reason Chirandu

            So a MaNdex participated in Gukurhundi?

          • Zollo

            Stupid boy …. he was shona by choice. He said so. Didn’t you get the gist of my post on this?

          • vusumuzi

            are you not suffering from the money shortage affectring everyone, and getting to p[ay ZRP bribes all your life, yet you choose to dwell on this ???. Some shonas are a puzzle. they suffer form zanu ills like ndebeles and yet pretend to be better, and migrate to Mthwakazi

        • Volcanic Eruption

          Enos Nkala was a traitor who could not stand his ground and allowed to be used for financial gain and fame. Sellout uNkala. Responsible for all the bodies lying beneath the khami dam or river. Many Ndebeles skeletons in there. Thanks to uNkala and many like him.

      • Peter Jack Makaya Jnr

        Sometimes we argue among ourselves blindly yet everything begins with each one of us…..the more we condemn one another the more we become as ruthless as the perpetrators of evil. People do not fight without or hate without cause but we can start something new in ourselves instead of returning to the same root that is destroying our peers!!

        • Volcanic Eruption

          True, noted.

        • tatenda Nyan’ombe

          well said.

    • Alfred Ndabazokufa

      Didn’t your brother jindu do worse???please relax yourself

    • Mtshayazafe

      Its people like these that must be shown genuine Ndebele cruelity. Usjwayela kabi wena mgodoyi, udinga induku nje.

  • Smoothy1

    Then it complicates everything. But better with the mother ‘coz their cases are not that prevalent. But just yesterd we were talking abt a mother who drowned her baby to please a new boyf. So kids are not safe anymore nomatter in whose hands yu leave them with. The mother, the father, the sister/brother, cousin, granny etc. The world is now cursed. It’s kinda of the end of it. Oooohh!!! Please GOD forbid. Zvanyanya izvi.

  • Ndabezitha

    Reason Chirandu, you can not taint all the Ndebele people of being heartless, we are so much appalled by such an act. That’s why uBhonklathi said yibuthakathi (huroyi). What can we say about the Chivi woman who axed her husband and set the hut ablaze? Can we say uroyi here?

  • ndabaningi

    kanti omakhelwane litsho ukuthi abakunanzelelanga ukuthi omunye wabantwana absamboni

  • Peter Jack Makaya Jnr

    Its a shame many people are yet to realise the sweetness of life and our duty to preserve it!