A domestic dispute over money left in his custody while his wife was in prison saw a 62-year-old Beitbridge municipal employee killing the wife with an axe last week in Dulivhadzimu suburb before driving off and later hanging himself from a tree at Lutumba, some 20km away.
The Herald reports that the 62-year-old municipal employee, identified as Muleya, reportedly squandered R78,000 and US$972 that his wife, Rosemary Dube, had left in his care before her arrest. Muleya could only account for R6,000 upon Dube’s release from prison, which aroused suspicion. A domestic dispute ensued, resulting in Dube’s tragic death.
Renowned Foreign Currency Dealer and Airtime Vendor
Sources close to the case said Rosemary Dube (36) was a renowned foreign currency dealer and airtime vendor at the Beitbridge border post.
Husband Unable to Account for Money Left In His Custody
Before being sentenced to a three-month jail term over assault, Dube left R78 000 and US$972 in the custody of her husband.
Upon her release on April 20, Muleya could only account for R6 000, telling her the rest had been stolen.
Wife Confronts Husband
But Dube became suspicious since Muleya had not reported the theft to the police. Dube reportedly accused her husband of squandering her money while she was behind bars, resulting in a fight and her death.
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Police Officer Confirms Incident
The police officer commanding Beitbridge district, Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo said the matter was still under investigation.
“So far, we have established that the couple were at their Dulivhadzimu home when they went to bed on Tuesday (last week) evening, while their 15-year-old son was sleeping in another room,” he said.
“Indications are that during the night, they had a fight resulting in the accused (Muleya) striking the woman to death with an axe.
“After allegedly committing the offence he fled from the scene in their vehicle. The body of Dube was found by their son in the morning when he went to fetch some items from the bedroom and he then alerted neighbours.”
Suicide Note Found
“A suicide note indicating that Muleya had killed himself after killing Dube was found on the front seat of his vehicle.”
Chief Supt Nyongo said the two bodies had been taken to Beitbridge District Hospital Mortuary and that a post mortem on Dube’s remains was pending.
Post mortem for Muleya was waived by the local magistrate court.
Domestic Dispute in Beitbridge
The incident comes a few weeks after another local authority guard, Phillani Mukothamo, killed and burnt the bodies of his wife and her young sister in Vhembe view suburb following a domestic dispute.