By Leonard Ncube
Two brothers aged 21 and 19, from Mabale near Dete allegedly set their homestead on fire on Wednesday night before committing suicide by hanging side-by-side on separate trees after they allegedly stole food from a local school.
Rahman Ngulube, 19, allegedly hanged himself on Wednesday night while his elder brother Trymore went on to hang himself on a nearby tree on Thursday morning.
The two brothers, who stayed alone, had allegedly torched their homestead on Wednesday night.
Police retrieved their bodies on Thursday afternoon, villagers told The Chronicle.
Villagers said Trymore and Rahman allegedly hanged themselves after being implicated in the theft of food meant for the schools feeding programme at Nabushome Primary School in the area.
Chief Dingane-Nelukoba confirmed the incident which occurred in Simukululwe Village under village head Matikiti.
“I got a call from the council chairperson (Hwange Rural District Council) who told me about the issue. It’s really shocking especially for us who knew the history of the two boys,” said Chief Dingane-Nelukoba.
He said the duo could have panicked after hearing that they were suspects in the alleged theft.
“They took grass and torched all their huts and fowl run and the youngest one hanged himself on Wednesday night while his elder brother remained at home. On Thursday morning his brother also hanged himself next to him after drawing an arrow pointing to where they had hidden part of the loot,” said the Chief.
It is alleged that an undisclosed number of 10kg bags of mealie-meal were recovered after villagers followed the arrow.
The stolen goods comprised mealie-meal and other groceries and a bed among other items.
Chief Dingane-Nelukoba said they suspect the two brothers could have committed suicide fearing for their lives after being threatened by some accomplices in the theft.
“It’s strange because the two had no scotch cart at their homestead but they carried the loot using one. That needs to be investigated because it shows they were not alone and could have decided to kill themselves out of fear after being threatened,” he said.
“They were well behaved and maybe hunger could have forced them to steal. Our worry is why the village head excluded them from drought relief programmes because naturally they should have benefited.”
He said burial is likely to be today after which he will gather his subjects to “solve issues because there is a lot happening”.
Their mother is reportedly in Botswana while the father is also said to be in Victoria Falls, The Chronicle learnt.
Village head Matikiti, who is the duo’s neighbour couldn’t be reached for comment as he was said to be in Gwayi but his wife Mrs Matikiti confirmed the recovery of some bags of mealie-meal.
Acting Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Eglon Nkala referred questions to National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba who said she was yet to receive a report.