Elderly Couple Killed Over Witchcraft, Manhunt For Suspect On

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

POLICE in Mashonaland West province have launched a manhunt for a 45-year-old man over the gruesome killing of an elderly Mhondoro couple for allegedly dabbling witchcraft.

Provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Margaret Chitove said police were looking for fugitive Freddy Makanganya of Denya village, Chief Chivero over the murder of Tabeth Chiumba (71) and her husband Tayero Santumeya (72).

The incident reportedly occurred on 1 April.

Circumstances are that on the fateful day at around 9pm, Makanganya returned from a beer binge at Nyamweda business centre and proceeded to the now deceased couple’s homestead.

Upon arrival, Makanganya, who was armed with an axe and a knobkerrie, confronted Chiumba accusing her of keeping a goblin at her house, but the elderly woman denied the accusation.

This incensed Makanganya who bludgeoned Chiumba all over her body using his weapons.

Santumeya tried to rescue his wife from further attack resulting in Makanganya directing his vengeance on him.

Sensing danger, Santumeya fled the scene, leaving his injured wife at the mercy of her assailant.

Police said neighbours who heard the disturbances rushed to the scene and quelled the riotous situation.

However, Chiumba died the following day after sustaining deep cuts around her left ear and bruises all over her body.

A search was conducted for Santumeya who was found on April 3 writhing in agony in a field about 50metres from his homestead. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

“We are appealing to members of the public who might have information that may lead to the arrest of the suspect who is still at large to approach their nearest police station,” Chitove said.