Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
THERE was drama in Lower Gweru when relatives of an artisanal miner who was killed in suspected amakorokoza battles dumped the body at the alleged assailant’s homestead demanding compensation.
The incident occurred on Sunday evening at Dimbamhiwa Business Centre.
Cephas Sifelani (37) of Phakama village allegedly killed Obert Tshuma (30) of Veto village under Chief Sogwala in Lower Gweru following a misunderstanding.
A police source said at around 4 PM, Obert was drinking beer at Dimbamhiwa Business Centre with his younger brother Admire and a friend, Godfrey Moyo.
“Sifelani and his friend Bhekimpilo Mlilo arrived at the business centre. Mlilo slapped Obert several times on the face for no apparent reason. A heated argument ensued between the two,” said the source.
The source said Tshuma’s brother, Admire, tried to restrain the two.
“Sifelani charged towards them and he stabbed Admire once on the back with an Okapi knife. Sensing danger, Obert ran away and Sifelani chased him until he slipped and fell on his back.
“Sifelani stabbed Obert once on the right chest and once on the right thigh with the same Okapi knife he used to stab Admire,” said the source.
Obert, said the source, bled profusely and was rushed to a nearby Nyama Clinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The source said Obert’s relatives immediately took his body and went to Sifelani’s homestead while armed with machetes and dumped the body demanding compensation.
“The case was reported to ZRP Maboleni at around 10 PM who attended the scene. On arrival at Nyama Clinic, the police found the body already removed from the clinic by Obert’s relatives. The police made a follow up to the deceased’s house where they later learnt that the body was moved to the accused person’s house by the deceased’s relatives.
“The police proceeded to the accused person’s house which is in Phakama village, Chief Sogwala. On arrival at the accused person’s house, there was a group of the deceased’s relatives who were armed with machetes and logs and were so aggressive and they wanted to attack the police officers. The police failed to retrieve the deceased’s body due to the situation and returned back to station,” said the source.
Obert’s relatives spent the night at Sifelani’s homestead baying for his blood.
Police ended the standoff when they came with reinforcements yesterday morning and took the body.
“While on their way back to station, the team got information on Sifelani’s hideout and they arrested him. Admire was taken to Gweru Provincial Hospital and his condition is stable,” said the source.