By- Residents of Gwanda were left in shock after a man was allegedly lured to five men who beat him up and stabbed him to death.
After committing the spine-chilling act, they dumped his body in a thicket.
The body of Thembani Moyo (26) was found on 3 February, five days after he was last seen, with family members noting that his eyes and privates parts were missing in a suspected ritual murder.
Moyo was buried last Wednesday at an emotionally charged funeral where family members narrated that although police indicated investigations were still on going, they suspected that the murder was linked to rituals.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the murder although she did not confirm that the body was found with some parts missing.
“Deceased Thembani Moyo aged 26 of Spitzkop, Gwanda was last seen on 26 January 2022 at around 5pm at Mbembesi B/C, West Nicholson. On the 3rd of February 2022 information was received to the effect that Thembani Moyo was murdered. The CID started investigations leading to the arrest of two suspects who were remanded in custody pending investigations.
“The two suspects led the detectives to the scene of the crime where the body of the deceased was found in an advanced state of decomposition.
As police we are appealing to the public to assist police with information that may lead to the arrest of the remaining suspects. We are also urging the public not to resort to violence when solving their disputes, but to involve third parties so as to resolve their issues amicably,” said Insp Mangena.
Family members, however, said Thembani was approached by Munyaradzi Masocha (28) who asked him to help him recover his car which had a breakdown near West Nicholson.
They said the two went with another car with the intention of recovering Masocha’s car at Masase Business Centre. When they reached the scene, five men allegedly approached them and grabbed Thembani before speeding off towards Beitbridge.
The family members said after some time, they branched off the main road where the kidnappers assaulted Thembani, resulting in his death.
The family members said what surprised them was that Masocha did not report the matter to the police and only opened up after Thembani’s father approached him asking him where his son was since he was the last person to be seen with him.
Part of the version of the story was corroborated when two suspects in the murder case appeared before Gwanda magistrate Mrs Polite Dube-Banda facing a charge of murder last week. The two – Bruce Decent Nyoni (19) and Keith Ndlovu (21) – were remanded in custody to 22 February to allow for further investigations.
Prosecuting, Ms Zanele Sithole said on the day of the incident, Thembani was in the company of Masocha (28) who lured him through a piece job at Mbembesi Business Centre in West Nicholson. Nyoni and Ndlovu, in the company of three other men who are still on the run approached Thembani, manhandled and dragged him into an Altezza motor vehicle registration number ADK 6838 which they were driving.
They sped off going south along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge highway, and upon arrival at the 170km peg, they turned east and parked 70 metres from the highway.
The five proceeded to take turns to assault Thembani all over the body using switches and booted feet after which they took turns to stab him with an Okapi knife, leading to his death.
The accused then hid the body in the thicket and disappeared from the scene.