The incident occurred in Chekai Village under Chief Zimuto in Masvingo.Police spokesperson for Masvingo province, Inspector Phibion Nyambo, confirmed the incident and said that Boniface Makanda was coming from a beer drink in the evening with Martin Dzingayi who was the village head when they started arguing about the boundary of a field belonging to Makanda.
Makanda was accusing Dzingayi of tampering with the boundary of his field, alleging that he was corrupt in his allocation of land while Dzingayi was refuting the allegations.While still arguing they met Tichaona Muchemwa (22), the son of Dzingayi, who tried to intervene on the side of his father but was threatened by Makanda and he ran away leaving the two still embroiled in the dispute.
The dispute later degenerated into a heated argument leading to a fistfight where Makanda kicked Dzingayi and tripped him to the ground.While Dzingayi was still struggling to get to his feet, Makanda grabbed a brick and struck him on the head resulting in his death.
Makanda then went to a nearby home where he told one Enita that he had killed the village head for his corruption in allocating land and in trying to shift the boundary of his field thereby depriving him of some land.He is said to have threatened Enita with death stating that he would kill more people.
He then left Enita’s home and went to his home where he did not disclose that he had killed the village head but told his wife that he was going to Mozambique and he left the same night.
“We have received a report that Boniface Makanda murdered a village head over a field boundary dispute. He ran away after the commission of the offence and police have since launched a manhunt for him,’’ said Inspector Nyambo.
Meanwhile, police in Masvingo have, however, expressed concern over the continued increase in the number of murder cases in the province saying the rate at which people were killing each other was alarming.Although the police spokesperson could not immediately release statistics, he confirmed that the number of murder cases the province recorded this year was much higher compared to that of the first half of the year last year.
He said people in the province were killing each other and in most cases over trivial issues that do not even deserve death as a punishment.He attributed the high increase in murder cases to the strong belief in witchcraft.He said people would kill each other after consulting traditional healers about illnesses or death in the family.
When advised after the witch-hunting ceremony, he said, relatives of the deceased would go and attack the alleged perpetrator of the witchcraft and in most cases would murder him/her.Inspector Nyambo further noted that the people of Masvingo province had a violent nature and an insatiable quest to mete out instant justice.
He added that some of the causes were linked to such issues as beer clashes, disputes over land ownership and boundaries while some border on infidelity and lovers.
“It is true that the number of murder cases is on an alarming increase in the province and that is very much worrying. People are murdering each other at an alarming rate and we urge the people in the province to value human life.
“We have also been advising people to seek counselling from various organisations and individuals if there are issues of misunderstanding. They can even come to the police for counselling, we have a department that can assist people who need counselling,’’ said Insp Nyambo.
He further stated that police were stepping up efforts of trying to reduce the number of murder cases through carrying out awareness campaigns on the importance of human life and urging people not to take the responsibility of the courts to determine who is wrong and who deserves what punishment and for what offence.
He said it was the duty of the courts to pass appropriate judgment on offenders.