Man axed to death hours after release from prison
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The blood-curdling incident occurred at Lusulu Village on Tuesday last week at about 8am. The two suspects, Njabulo Tshuma (30), who is the deceased's, nephew and Vusa Ndlovu (27), the brother, disappeared soon after hacking 34-year-old Timothy Mugobo's face beyond recognition.
Villagers yesterday said Mugobo went to prison for two years after torching two huts at Ndlovu's homestead.
"Vusa was sleeping in one of the huts with his wife, while Njabulo was sleeping in another with relatives. We suspect that family elders knew about plans for the murder because family members were rejoicing at the funeral wake. Everyone seemed happy and they did not seem to miss Mugobo," said a villager on condition of anonymity.
The police spokesperson for Matabeleland North, Assistant Inspector Siphiwe Makonese, confirmed the incident on Monday and said police had launched a manhunt for the suspects.
She said police were yet to determine the reason for the vicious killing.
"Mugobo had been released from Binga prison where he was serving a sentence for malicious damage to property (MDP). He got home and went to his late father's homestead where the family had gathered for a traditional ceremony called umbuyiso," said Asst Insp Makonese.
She said Mugobo stayed for about 50 minutes before proceeding to his homestead.
"The two accused persons allegedly followed him and attacked him on the way. One of the accused is the deceased's brother, while the other is his nephew," she said.
Asst Insp Makonese said the pair chopped off part of Mugobo's right cheek, slashed through his right eye and lower jaw and also left a deep gash on the right side of the head.
"Mugobo sustained very deep cuts because the assailants axed him with such force that the axe would get embedded in his head. They would then pull it out and stick it into another part of his face," said the police spokesperson.
She said villagers made a report at Lusulu Police Station. "Officers attended the scene and the axe used in the killing was recovered. However, the suspects are still at large," said Asst Insp Makonese.
She discouraged people from resorting to violence to settle disputes. "Whenever there is a misunderstanding, it is important to seek advice from elders who include traditional leaders, churches and the police. Taking the law into one's hands is never a solution. As it is these people will never know peace as they are now on the run. They will always be looking over their shoulders until the day they are caught," said Asst Insp Makonese.
She appealed to people who might have information that could lead to the arrest of the pair to contact their nearest police station.
"They can also call the Matabeleland North Police Press number (081) 32739. Alternatively, they can send the information to the police through police suggestion boxes if they do not wish their identities to be known," she said.
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