A 30-year-old man from Zimuto allegedly killed his brother over a 50 kg bag of maize from a drought relief agency, TellZim News can report.
The grisly incident, which occurred on the night of February 2, could be the first incident of the looming drought already taking an ominous toll on impoverished rural areas.
Peter Thompson Machingura of Gwati village under Chief Zimuto was arrested the following morning as the body of his brother Steven Machingura was removed from a kitchen hut where it had spent the whole night.
Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Charity Mazula confirmed the incident and urged people to seek guidance from community leaders when they have disagreements.
“I can confirm receiving a report of murder involving a Peter who allegedly killed his brother in Zimuto. The suspect has been arrested and will appear in court soon facing a murder charge and investigations are still under way,” said Mazula.
Sources said the matter started with Peter going to collect his share of the food aid from a nearby shopping centre. He, however, could not take the bag of maize home on that day so he left it at the shopping centre. The following morning, he went and took the bag home and later returned to the shops for some beer, only for Steven to take some of the grain and sell it.
When Peter returned home in the evening, Steven requested that he be allowed to sell the rest of the grain so that he could pay off his debt but Peter refused.
This angered Steven who then went out of the house and came back armed with a hoe which he then used to attack Peter, but he managed to overpower Steven and took the hoe.
Peter the kicked Steven in the stomach and struck him on the head and leg before dragging him into the kitchen.
The following morning Peter went to a neighbour Gladys Mavise’s homestead where he was asked about the whereabouts of Steven since she herd them quarrelling during the night.
He told her that he was sleeping in the kitchen and they had to go and see him before he could hand himself over to the police.
Mavise told her father Nelson Mavise (86) who then informed headman Solomon Zimuto before a police report was made.