Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
A 64-year-old Zvishavane man allegedly axed his wife of 33 years to death and burnt her body after she allegedly opposed his plans to marry a second wife.
Kenneth Masuku, of Mabele Village under Chief Hwedza, Zvishavane, is said to have fallen in love with a widow from the same village only identified as MaSibanda, but the dispute over the affair resulted in him killing his wife Lucia Dzawandi (51) in cold blood.
Masuku is said to have been arrested on Saturday.
Acting Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said Dzawandi’s remains had been taken for a post-mortem.
“Police investigations are underway. We urge members of the public to seek recourse from a third party like community elders, the church and the police in case of disagreements instead of resorting to such heinous crimes,” said Asst Insp Mukwende.
A source said on November 23, Masuku allegedly lured Dzawandi to Mushandukwa Hills in the same area under the pretext that they were going for a cleansing ceremony.
Unknown to her, villagers told The Chronicle, Masuku had already piled fire wood ready to kill her.
“On November 23, Masuku asked his wife of 33 years to accompany him to Mushandukwa Hills in Zvishavane where he said there was a prophet who was going to cleanse both of them. The good wife followed her husband and when they got there, he struck her twice on the head with an axe leading to her death,” said a villager on condition of anonymity.
After killing his wife, villagers said, Masuku allegedly searched her and took her cellphone and $100. “He then set the body on fire and returned home alone,” he said.
A villager said on November 26, Dzawandi’s relatives became suspicious of her absence and confronted Masuku. He said Masuku confessed to murdering and burning his wife.
“In his defence, he told the relatives that Dzawandi was refusing that he marries a second wife. He said he thought of killing her so that he could go ahead and marry his new found love. He then took the relatives to Mushandukwa Hills where he showed them the spot where he had burned his wife before they took him to the police,” said the villager.