Murder pobe after pregnant woman dies, burns at lodge

By Nqobile Tshili

A pregnant woman from Mahatshula North suburb in Bulawayo was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend at a city lodge where they were booked, police confirmed yesterday.

The lodge where Fortunate Sithole (27) died on Monday morning

Fortunate Sithole (27) died on Monday at around 4AM after she was strangled before her body was burnt after a suspected lovers’ tiff.Workers at the lodge in Kumalo suburb said Sithole booked the room on Sunday at about 10PM claiming that her boyfriend was going to join her later.

“She came at about 10PM. She did not pay and said that her boyfriend was going to join her later. At about 4AM, we heard her scream just once but her screams didn’t bother us. This is a lodge, people scream because of various reasons which is none of our business,” said an employee who declined to be named.

The worker said no one saw the alleged boyfriend as he sneaked out through a window after allegedly killing the woman.

The workers said they realised something was amiss when they saw the room going up in flames.

“Upon investigation, I discovered Sithole’s body. That’s when I used a spare key to open the room. Thick smoke billowed out of the room.

The body had been stashed under a mattress which had been set on fire. I quickly called the Fire Brigade and the police who came and removed her body,” said the worker.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango yesterday said police were investigating the murder case.She said the suspected killer had been identified although he had not been arrested.

“We’re investigating an incident where a 27-year-old woman was found dead at a city lodge. We are treating her death as murder and her body was partially burnt. I can’t disclose much on the case as this could jeopardise our investigations,” said Insp Simango.

She said police were worried about the upsurge in murder and suicide cases involving couples in Bulawayo.

Sithole becomes the second woman to be killed in couples’ disputes recently while three men have reportedly committed suicide within a week in Bulawayo. The Chronicle

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