By Conrad Mupesa
Police have launched a manhunt for a 45-year old man from Mhondoro who fatally struck a couple using an axe and a knobkerry over witchcraft allegations on April 1 this year.
Mashonaland West police spokesperson, Inspector Margaret Chitove said the suspect had been identified as Freddy Makanganya of Denya Village Chief Chivero.
She said investigations were also underway and appealed for information from the public on the accused’s whereabouts.
Makanganya, Inspector Chitove said, allegedly murdered the couple after accusing the wife of practising witchcraft.
The couple; Tabeth Chiumba (71) and her husband Tayero Santumeya (72) from the same village, were murdered at their homestead.
It is alleged that on 1 April at around 9 pm, Inspector Chitove said, Makanganya returned home drunk from Nyamweda Business Centre and started accusing Chiumba of being a witch and having a goblin in her possession.
He proceeded to the deceased’s homestead armed with an axe and a knobkerry after having threatened to kill his mother Rosemary Makanganya (61).
He assaulted Santumeya who fled for his life before leaving the accused with his wife.
Wensecelous Katsamba (43) and Tendai Makanganga (39), the couple’s neighbours tried to refrain from the accused but failed and fled due to fear.
The two neighbours later returned with the accused aunt, Mariana Makangani (58) and found the accused questioning the injured Chiumba demanding her to release the items she used for witchcraft.
They refrained the accused from further assaulting Chiumba but she succumbed to injuries sustained from the attack the following day at her homestead.
Santumeya was found lying in agony 50m from his homestead and taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Chiumba’s body had deep cuts around her left ear and bruises all over the body.
She warned people against accusing each other of witchcraft as it is a crime and urged for amicable ways of solving issues before denigrating into violence. The Herald