The Chronicle

Man ‘axes’ wife, hangs self

Some of the mourners gathered at a house where a man was “stabbed” to death by his brother in Entumbane suburb, Bulawayo, on Sunday

Michael Magoronga and Esinathy Sibanda
A SILOBELA man fatally struck his sleeping wife with an axe on the head before committing suicide after discovering she was taking contraceptive pills without his knowledge.

Busani Mandava (35) of Langton Farm in Silobela, allegedly struck his wife, Chipo Basopo once in the head while she was asleep and she died on the spot.

He then covered her with a blanket, took their three- year-old child to their neighbour before he proceeded to hang himself from a tree using barbed wire.

Midlands Police Spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko could not confirm the incident saying he was yet to get a report on the murder and suicide case.

However, Silobela MP Mthokozisi Manoki-Mpofu confirmed the incident that happened on Friday night.

“Yes I received information that there is a man who killed his wife before taking his own life,” said the MP who referred further questions to the area’s councillor.

Ward 24 councillor Mr Ephias Shoko said Mandava left a note explaining why he committed suicide after killing his wife.

Cllr Shoko said on the fateful day, the couple spent the day working in their fields as usual.

“They spent the whole day ploughing in their field. They retired around 3PM before they went fishing in the nearby dam. Everything seemed fine for the young couple,” he said.

Cllr Shoko said he was shocked when people came knocking on his door at night informing him that Mandava was hanging from a tree.

“It is believed that the couple had a misunderstanding over family planning issues. According to a note that he left which is in the hands of the police, he got angry when he discovered that his wife was taking family planning pills without his knowledge,” he said.

Cllr Shoko said after fatally striking his wife with an axe, Mandava took their three- year old baby to their neighbour only identified as Hungwe before hanging himself from a tree.

“He was armed with a blood dripping axe and a spear and ordered Hungwe to take the baby to his young brother. When Hungwe followed to see what was happening, he threatened to kill him,” the councillor said.

He said after a search was conducted in the couple’s bedroom, pills and poisonous chemicals were found suggesting he might have taken them as he tried to end his life.

Mandava was buried on Sunday while Basopo was taken to Mpilo Hospital for post-mortem, Cllr Shoko said.

Meanwhile, A 19-year-old man, suspected to be mentally ill, fatally stabbed his brother in Entumbane suburb following a misunderstanding.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango yesterday confirmed the gruesome murder of Kudakwashe Hungwe (26).

She said the incident happened on Sunday at around 10AM.

“Police in Entumbane are investigating a case of murder where a 26-year-old man Kudakwashe Hungwe died after being stabbed by his younger brother Henry,” she said.

Chief Insp Simango said the brothers who lived together at their parents’ house had a misunderstanding leading to the fatal stabbing.

Henry has since been arrested.

“Henry was repairing a radio in the sitting room when Kudakwashe ordered him to leave the room. There was a misunderstanding and Kudakwashe took away the radio from Henry and went to the kitchen. Henry followed him and violently took back the radio and smashed it on the floor. The younger brother took a kitchen knife which he was using as a screw driver and stabbed Kudakwashe on the left side of the chest near the armpit.”

Chief Insp Simango said Kudakwashe called their tenant, who with the assistance of the siblings’ mother rushed Kudakwashe to Mpilo Central Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Family members refused to comment.

Neighbours however said Henry has a mental problem and at times seeks treatment at Ingutsheni Hospital.

— @esinathy_essira