Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter—
A SOLDIER who had visited his wife for Valentine’s Day allegedly tortured his uncle, military style, resulting in his death after his wife said he was proposing love to her. Corporal Bekithemba Sibanda, 27, stationed at 1.2 Infantry Battalion in Hwange, allegedly flew into a rage after his wife Angela Nyoni told him that his uncle Dumezweni Ngwenya, 42, was “troubling her.”
The incident happened on Saturday at about 8PM in Monde Village, about 15km outside Victoria Falls.
Sibanda, popularly known as “Mafana” in Ntabayengwe Village where he comes from, threw his Valentine’s Day plans out of the window and immediately called his uncle when his wife told him of Ngwenya’s amorous advances.
The older man came running after Sibanda claimed he had found a job for him.
The fuming soldier allegedly beat Ngwenya up, poured water on him, made him roll in muddy puddles and forced him to do hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups.
Family sources said the torture went on for hours until Ngwenya fractured an arm and could no longer do the push-ups.
“Bekithemba then took a huge stick and flogged Ngwenya to within an inch of his life. He was covered in mud and blood when he eventually staggered home. He was barely alive when we rushed him to hospital (Victoria Falls District Hospital) where he died on admission,” said a family source.
Police arrested Sibanda inside a Bulawayo-bound bus at around 11PM the same night.
The acting officer commanding Victoria Falls district, Superintendent Dominic Sibanda, said: “We received a report of a murder involving a crime of passion where a suspect used a switch to assault a man he suspected was having an affair with his wife after inviting him to his house saying he got him a job.”
He said a livid Sibanda thrashed his uncle with a switch when he pleaded for mercy after he could not do any more press-ups because his arm was broken.
Villagers around Monde under Chief Mvuthu area said they were still trying to come to terms with the incident.
“We heard that the woman reported to her husband that Ngwenya was proposing love to her. Her husband invited him to his homestead on the pretext that he had found him a job and an unsuspecting Ngwenya proceeded to the homestead not knowing that it was a trap,” said a neighbour from the village.
Another witness said an injured Ngwenya staggered to his homestead after the attack and his family immediately rushed him to Victoria Falls District Hospital where he was admitted but died moments later.
Sibanda fled from his homestead and went to Victoria Falls as he intended to board a bus and escape but was arrested when detectives swiftly reacted to a report.
Police said Sibanda is likely to appear in court today charged with murder.
Supt Sibanda advised members of the public to seek advice from elders in resolving disputes.
“We advise members of the public not to use violence in solving disputes. Crimes of passion are now very common and people should seek mediation from elders instead of resorting to violence,” he said.
The councillor for the area, Dennis Thebe, said they were shocked by the incident.
“We heard that Ngwenya died as soon as he was admitted to hospital and Sibanda claims he only used a switch to beat him up,” he said.
Another soldier, Learnmore Moyo, 25, from the same area and also stationed at 1.2 Infantry Battalion, is on the run after skipping bail in a case in which he allegedly severely assaulted Gabron Ncube, 45, at a beer drink at Chidobe Business Centre causing his death on June 7 last year.