An 83-year old man from Bulawayo died yesterday morning after he was bludgeoned with huge boulders by his son who accused him of witchcraft following an argument over tenants’ rentals.
Thabani Ncube (47) of Entumbane suburb is in police custody for allegedly killing his father, Mitsho Ncube, after the latter inquired why he was not paying utility bills using rentals collected from tenants.
In a gruesome scene, Thabani is alleged to have crushed his father’s head with a huge boulder, killing him instantly. He then calmly walked to Entumbane police station to hand himself over to law enforcement agents.
Family members and neighbors said Thabani, who allegedly had not paid utility bills for more than four years, blamed his father for casting spells on him which made him sick and said he had proof from prophets he consulted that the deceased was behind his misery.
The house belongs to Mitsho who, however, had since moved to the family’s rural home, leaving it in his son’s care.
Witnesses said trouble started when Thabani started accusing his father of witchcraft following a row over why he was diverting rentals from tenants to his own use and not paying water and electricity bills.
“We are shocked as a community. We witnessed it all. It was as if he was possessed by some spirit. Ukhulu was busy shaving under the tree and Thabani was mending a shoe a few yards from him. He just asked his father why he was staring at him and threatened to hit him. The next thing he stood up and picked a stone and attacked his father. The old man fell into the drainage trench and then his son picked a boulder and used it to crush his head,” said a neighbor who declined to be named.
“He started shouting obscenities accusing ukhulu of bewitching him. We tried to restrain him and people were screaming on the road. We tried to walk him away from the scene but he escaped from us and went back to the old man. He picked up a bigger boulder, straddled him and crushed his head with it, killing him instantly. We watched as the old man gasped for air. It was sad, and his own (Thabani’s) children witnessed it too. I doubt I will ever get to sleep well again after seeing this.”
Thabani allegedly told neighbors that he was going to hand himself over to the police.
He allegedly left the scene, proceeded to a tap where he washed his hands before walking towards Entumbane police station. He collapsed a few yards away. Police who arrived at the scene took him away.
Thabani is reported to have started hallucinating, claiming to be seeing goblins. In a trance-like state, he claimed the goblins were trying to kill him and belonged to his father.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube was not immediately available for comment.
A Chronicle news crew was met by a pool of blood where the incident had happened with family members and neighbors trying to wash blood stains off the concrete.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident in Nkulumane suburb, a 40-year-old man was found lying dead in a pool of blood with a gun next to him in a suspected case of suicide.
His wife had allegedly run away and sought shelter at their relatives’ home after a domestic dispute.
In a statement on their official Twitter account, the Zimbabwe Republic Police said the matter is under investigation.
“Following a domestic dispute with his wife and the seeking of shelter by the woman with relatives, a man (40) of Nkulumane, Bulawayo was found dead with a gunshot wound on his head. A pistol was recovered by his side. Investigations into the incident are in progress,” said the police.