SHOCKING: Gweru man chops off wife's head with an axe into pieces

A MAN from Ntabamhlophe Village in Lower Gweru beheaded his wife with an axe, chopped the severed head into pieces before hanging himself following a misunderstanding over missing cattle.

Muziwethu Hlongwane, 27, got into an argument with his wife of eight years, Winnie Hlongwane, 50, after he allegedly sold four head of cattle and spent the money on women and beer.

Winnie was a teacher-in-charge at Ntabamhlophe Primary School and a well known member of the community.
SHOCKING: Gweru man chops off wife's head with an axe into pieces
Relatives said Muziwethu had inherited his late brother's wife, hence the age difference.

The village head, Mafanyana Magodi confirmed the grisly murder which occurred around 5PM on Wednesday.

He said one of Winnie's eyes and part of her forehead had been removed from the skull and police officers who attended the scene were a bit hesitant to look at her remains. Her teeth were scattered all over the scene of the incident near the kraal.

Magodi said Winnie's daughter was also attacked and escaped with deep cuts on her head and had bruises on her body.

He said the young woman was rushed to Gweru Provincial Hospital where she was admitted. Her condition was said to be stable.

Magodi said after axing his wife to death, Muziwethu took an electric cord and hanged himself on a tree outside their homestead.

He said Muziwethu's body was only discovered yesterday at around 8AM.

The news crew visited Ntabamhlophe Village yesterday at around 3PM and found a community still in shock over the gruesome murder of Winnie. Scores of mourners and teachers who taught with Winnie were gathered at the Hlongwane homestead to express their condolences.

Muziwethu's body had been cut loose from the tree from which he hanged himself and was covered with a blanket.

Police had taken Winnie's body to Gweru Provincial Hospital mortuary.

Muziwethu's mother Barbara Dlamini was seated by her son's body wailing while waiting for some relatives to come from Kwekwe with a vehicle and coffin to ferry the body to Loreto Mission Hospital mortuary en-route to Nemangwe area, in Gokwe South, for burial.

Said Magodi: "Bantwabami (my children) this is very painful. I don't even know where to start but the fact is that Muziwethu murdered his wife before hanging himself."

He said Winnie's daughter who escaped death by a whisker told them that around 4PM, her mother and stepfather had a fight over four missing cattle.

Magodi said Muziwethu then locked the two inside the house and went outside.

"The girl looked for spare keys and unlocked the door before going outside. Muziwethu followed her holding an axe which he wanted to strike her with. She said she was struck once on the head before fleeing the scene. After that, her mother came out to investigate. That's when she met her fate," he said.

Muziwethu's uncle, Gordon Tshuma said his nephew had inherited his later brother's wife at the tender age of 19.

He said the two were always fighting since Muziwethu was promiscuous and always chasing after girls of his age.

Tshuma said at times Muziwethu would go for two days without coming home.

"This angered Winnie a lot since she was a jealous woman. She always asked him to perform his duties as a husband as he seemed to be lacking in that regard," he said.

Tshuma said things came to a boil when Muziwethu allegedly sold four head of cattle before using the money on alcohol and women.

A villager who spoke on condition of anonymity said the age difference appeared to affect Muziwethu who was now exposed to young women of his age neglecting his wife of inheritance.

"So he got wild, started drinking beer and staying away from home for days, thereby creating huge problems. On several occasions, he would be called to Maboleni police station after fighting with Winnie," said a villager.

The villager said when Muziwethu's brother died, Winnie was involved with a certain man with whom they had a child together.

"However, when Muziwethu arrived at the homestead from Gokwe, he chased that man away. After two weeks, his stepdaughter whom Winnie had with her boyfriend died mysteriously," said the villager.

Dlamini said she had not blessed her son's marriage to his sister-in-law from the onset.

She alleged that Winnie forced her son to engage in sex with her when he was just a 17- year-old boy.

"My son came to his brother's homestead to visit the family and before we knew it, Winnie had taken him into her bed. He was now her husband and we weren't happy at all as a family," said Dlamini.

She said if it wasn't for the strange marriage, her son would have been alive today.

"Winnie is to blame. My son was a well-behaved child when he was growing up before he came into the hands of Winnie who confused her," said a weeping Dlamini.

She said Muziwethu would be buried at his father's homestead in Chief Nemangwe, Gokwe South.

Midlands Provincial police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko could not be reached for comment.

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