Saturday 21 August 2021


A MAN from Ntabazinduna, Matabeleland North province, has been arrested a year later after he allegedly whipped his three-year-old daughter to death for wetting herself, before digging a grave inside one of the huts in his homestead where he buried her.

The incident was only discovered more than a year later and police have exhumed the remains of the kid for postmortem.

Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda told Sunday News they had arrested Happiness Ncube (27) of Nyema for the murder of the child and another man, Ndaba Dube aged 52 years of Fort Rixon for his role in the concealment of the crime.

“Police in Mbembesi have arrested two men linked to the murder of three-year-old Sheamy Khanyisile Sibanda sometime in April last year. This was after a report of suspected murder was received from the informant, Ntombizandile Sibanda (mother to the child) to the effect that Ncube, the stepfather, fatally assaulted her,” he said.

Insp Banda said the two accused persons allegedly connived to secretly bury the deceased inside a hut in a bid to conceal the murder. He said following their arrest on 19 August 2021, the two accused persons admitted to have participated in burying the body and took police for indications.

They led police officers to the hut where they had buried the body. The exhumation process was done in the presence of Ntabazinduna headman, Mr Mkanyeli Khumalo and the Ward councillor, Alexander Mnkandla, said Insp Banda.

He said decomposed remains were recovered wrapped in a black jacket but could not be positively identified due to the advanced state of decomposition and have been taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) for postmortem.

Circumstances leading to the incident are that sometime in April 2020, Ms Sibanda who was staying with Ncube at Ntabazinduna New Stands was preparing breakfast outside the house while the child was seated inside.

The three-year-old girl wet herself and this did not go down well with Ncube who took a rubber sandal and began to assault her several times on her head. Sibanda rushed in and restrained her husband from further assaulting the deceased.

The following day she noticed that her daughter was showing signs of pain after finding her alone but did not bother to take her to the clinic. The next day at around 7am, she noticed that her daughter was having difficulties in breathing and she decided to prepare porridge for her before taking her to the clinic.

However, when Ncube got into the hut, he called out to his wife who hurried inside and found her daughter dead. Ncube told Ms Sibanda not to reveal the matter to anyone before leaving for Fort Rixon after locking the body inside the hut.

While there, they informed a relative, Dube who together with Ncube went back to Ntabazinduna leaving Sibanda behind. They returned to Fort Rixon on the same day in the evening before Sibanda quizzed them on how they had handled the matter to which she was told that they had buried the body inside “maTshuma’s hut”.

However, the matter came to light when Ms Sibanda who was haunted by the incident sent an audio via WhatsApp to her father, Mr Kenny Sibanda stating what had transpired. He advised her to make a police report and on 15 August 2021 she proceeded to Esigodini police before being referred to Mbembesi police station.

Insp Banda implored citizens to respect the right to life and protect the vulnerable who include children, women and the mentally challenged against abuse, while calling for the reporting of crimes done in the name of culture and religion. Sunday News


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