bloody axe

Sharp increase in murder cases in Binga

Whinsley Masara
A 30-YEAR-Old man from Binga was allegedly axed to death following a row over  lost herd of cattle in Binga making it the capital of murders in Matabeleland North.

Madamombe Mudenda of Manseme area, under chief Siansali in Kariangwe died after he attacked Stanley Muleya (37) with a log, Muleya in turn retaliated, axing Mudenda once below the right ear and he died on the spot.

The incident occurred at around 6pm on Monday at a neighbour’s homestead.

Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese confirmed the murder incident.

She said the suspect handed himself over to the police and was arrested.

“We are investigating a case of murder which occurred in Binga District. The suspect handed himself over to the police and we are investigating the case,” she said.

The body was taken to Binga District Hospital enroute United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) for post-mortem.

Chief Siansali confirmed the incident saying, sadly the now deceased was a mentally challenged person.

He said the victim was a known psychiatric patient who had grown violent tendencies but his family and the community had done nothing about it.

The now deceased also was recently released from prison for charges of cattle rustling and axing two cows during a fight with his father.

Chief Siansali said Mudenda went berserk and axed two cows after his father had fled from home and hid at the neighbour’s home.

“On several occasions, he had gone berserk, forcing his family to seek refuge at their neighbouring homesteads. So many reports were made to the police about him but I’m sure everyone took the matter lightly and concluded that he was sick, leaving it there.

“The unfortunate incident could have been avoided by taking him to a mental hospital. The public should always be on the alert of mentally challenged people and avoid fighting them. Once they show signs of violence, they should be taken to hospital for medical attention to avoid such incidents in future,” said the area chief.

He expressed concern on the rise in violence cases which result in injuries or loss of lives.

“It is worrying to see people fighting over petty issues, fights which escalate to violence scenarios. Members of the public are urged to engage third parties as a way to resolve disputes amicably,” said Chief Siansali.

He also appealed for increased visibility of police as a way to control crime within the community.

A source said at around 5PM, when Mudenda came from a beer drink, he discovered that his cattle were not there in their pan.

“He went to check for them at a nearby grazing area but didn’t find them, prompting him to inform his neighbour, Andrew Muleya. On his way there, he met Muleya who was in the company of Andrew and were on their way to Andrew’s homestead.

“Mudenda then explained to the two that he was looking for his cattle but could not locate them. The suspect told the now deceased to look for his cattle and stop bothering people. This response did not go down well with Mudenda and a misunderstanding ensued between the two but subsided and they parted,” said the source.

The source said the now deceased later followed the two at Andrew’s homestead and joined them under a tree where they sat.

“Andrew stood up to get the cork, leaving the two rivals together.

A further misunderstanding ensued resulting in Mudenda hitting the suspect twice on the left shoulder with a log.

“Muleya got angry and picked up his axe which was beside him and struck Mudenda once below the left ear. He sustained a deep cut and fell down, bled profusely and died on the spot,” said the source. Murder cases have become rife in Binga District.

Last month, a 77-year-old man from Binga was found dead in a pool of blood after being axed on the head and between his eyes at his homestead.

The elderly man who lived alone at his homestead, was found dead, face down in the morning outside his bedroom hut.

In April last year, a man (86)  from Binga struck an 86-year-old man to death with an axe after accusing him of bewitching him before turning on two women from the same area with the same weapon, leaving them seriously injured.

During that same month, a 24 year old man from Binga again, fatally stabbed a fellow villager following a misunderstanding over ownership of a cow.

He allegedly stabbed him on the forehead, chest and back with a kitchen knife in front of his kraal.

The suspect was intercepted along the Zambezi River in Hwange as he tried to board a boat into neighbouring Zambia.

In May 2018, two brothers allegedly punched and kicked a 52-year-old man to death for demanding $1 that they owed him for mbanje.

They allegedly repeatedly hit him until he fell unconscious in a pool of blood and died on the spot.

The incident occurred at a homestead where villagers had gathered to buy and drink opaque beer.