A BULILIMA family has demanded lobola from the husband of their 47-year-old daughter who burnt herself to death in a hut last week. The family alleges Mr Benson Malipa Moyo had lived with their daughter, Sikhona Dube, for the past eight years without their knowledge. Dube of Madlambuzi area set her bedroom hut on fire on Tuesday June 7 at around 5AM in a suspected case of suicide following a long illness.
She was only buried on Monday last week after her family demanded that Mr Moyo – a teacher at Gampu Primary School in Bulilima – pays a cow upfront. A village head from Madlambuzi area, Mr Simon Ndebele said the Dube family first demanded four head of cattle from Mr Moyo and later ordered him to hand over two.
“The burial had been scheduled for Thursday but it was later moved because there was a lot of tension between the families. The Dube family was disgruntled because Moyo had lived for eight years with their daughter but had not paid a cent towards lobola.
“They ordered him to hand over four beasts if he wanted to bury his wife at his homestead in Madlambuzi area. Moyo failed to make the payment and then his in laws decided that their daughter would be buried at their homestead in Gampu area on condition that he pays two cattle,” he said. Mr Ndebele said the Dube family refused to conduct the burial and pointed out they wanted the payment upfront.
He said the Dube family only agreed to have the burial conducted after Mr Moyo paid $300 which his in-laws regarded as half payment for one beast. Mr Moyo, Mr Ndebele said, had been given a grace period of one week after the burial to pay the remaining $900.
Chief Madlambuzi’s secretary, Grey Ndlovu who accompanied the Moyos to the Dube homestead said: “We arrived at the Dube homestead around 7PM with their daughter’s remains but they denied us entry. We spent the night outside with the body of the deceased and they only granted us permission to enter on the following day around 9AM. This was after Moyo had paid $300,” said Mr Ndlovu.
He said the Dube family also ordered Mr Moyo to pay $150 to cater for the costs which they had incurred in gathering for their daughter’s funeral. Mr Ndlovu said the Dube family blamed Mr Moyo for their daughter’s death.
Her brother, Mr Morris Dube said: “Our family was not aware that Sikhona had been staying with Moyo for the past eight years. My sister’s death has pained the family,” he said while describing Mr Moyo as disrespectful. On the day she died, Dube sent her sons to the business centre at around 5AM and went on to set her bedroom hut on fire. chronicle