By Xolisani Ncube
HARARE – A Masvingo man ran amok, hacking his elder brother with a machete, slicing off his tongue and private parts, before knifing his wife’s left breast over alleged infidelity in a horror case that has left many stunned.
Ephias Chikumbo, the alleged 42-year-old killer is currently held by police in Gutu facing murder charges. Chikumbo, suspecting his 47-year-old elder brother Tirivafi of having an affair with his wife, Marjory, flew into a rage and attacked his brother with a machete, killing him instantly.
He is said to have disappeared into the bush after his dastardly handiwork, prompting a manhunt for him. Chikumbo was to return home deep in the night, where he grievously assaulted his wife, father, mother and young brother.
They are all battling for dear life at Gutu Mission Hospital, with the wife admitted in the intensive care unit. National police spokesperson Andrew Phiri confirmed that police are seized with the matter.
“We can confirm that police have arrested a Masvingo man in connection with murder and assault charges,” Phiri told the Daily News on Tuesday.
“The person is expected to appear in court soon.”
Chikumbo is said to have confronted his brother about the alleged affair and an argument ensued, that prompted him to arm himself with a machete.
With single-minded determination, a machete-wielding Chikumbo, who is under chief Nyamande’s area, grisly “slaughtered” his brother before slicing off his tongue and private parts — body parts he claimed his elder sibling used to coax his wife, Marjory.
After the gruesome morning murder and subsequent disappearance, Chikumbo returned to complete the job. He is said to have gone berserk during the night, first attacking his 19-year-old younger brother, Emmanuel, demanding full details of his wife’s sexual proclivities.
He demanded to know who else besides the late Tirivafi was sleeping with his wife and also alleged that the young man was also helping himself to his wife. He then descended on his 66-year-old father Petros who was trying to restrain him, and knocked off his teeth in a thorough beating.
After assaulting his father, he went for his wife, knifing her left breast off as punishment for allegedly cheating on him. Bleeding profusely, the wife collapsed, prompting the 56-year-old mother Tsvakai to intervene. In a taboo move, an irate Chikumbo assaulted his own mother, fracturing her right arm.
As Chikumbo unleashed his reign of terror, young Emmanuel rushed to Bhasera police base station to report the case. Police responded promptly and rushed the critically injured wife to hospital. Chikumbo was only arrested the following day at the scene of the crime, while enjoying a mug of opaque beer.
The shocking slaying comes as police in Masvingo have recorded a decrease of 25 percent in murder cases in 2012. According to statistics from the police Victim Friendly Unit, murder cases resulting from domestic disputes were escalating, with women mostly on the receiving end.
Officer commanding the Victim Friendly Unit, Isabella Sergio told a crime awareness campaign in December that police recorded more deaths from domestic disputes than from criminal activities.
“Murders as a result of domestic violence also continue to rise,” she said. “The link between domestic violence and technology has become very significant as a number of cases emanate from invasion of privacy particularly through cellphones and e-mails.
“Infidelity and misuse of family income are other major causes of domestic violence,” she added. Daily News
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