A Zimbabwean man from Ntabazinduna, Matabeleland North province, has been arrested a year later after he allegedly whipped his 3-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 Bandatold 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 having 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 7 am, she noticed that her daughter was having difficulties in breathing and she decided to prepare porridge for her before taking her to the clinic.