A 31-year-old Gutu man who was employed as a domestic worker is on the run after he allegedly fatally struck his elderly employer on the head with an axe after discovering that the latter had $700 in his EcoCash account, police have confirmed.
Tinashe Chikumbo (31) whose area of origin is not known but stayed at his employer’s homestead, allegedly fatally struck Johannes Mudoro (75) of Runyowa Village under Chief Gadzingo, on the head four times, with an axe before he disappeared.
Acting Masvingo police spokesperson Sergeant Lorine Chanakira said the incident occurred on Wednesday last week at around 6pm but the body was discovered the following day.
“I can confirm receiving a report of murder involving a man who allegedly struck his employer with an axe, in Gutu. The suspect is at large,” said Sgt Chanakira.
She said police attended the scene and took the body to Gutu Mission Hospital for post-mortem.
Sgt Chanakira said on the day, at around 8am, Chikumbo drove a herd of cattle to the pastures about three kilometres away and left Mudoro and his wife Mrs Irene Mudoro, home.
It is said Chikumbo told Mrs Mudoro that he intended to fetch firewood while herding cattle and carried two axes.
At around 5pm, after penning the cattle, Chikumbo allegedly asked his employer to accompany him back to the pastures, to help him collect the firewood that he had stacked.
Sgt Chanakira said at around 6pm and much to Mrs Mudoro’s surprise, Chikumbo returned home alone, with a few logs of firewood, in a wheelbarrow.
She asked him about her husband’s whereabouts but Chikumbo allegedly lied that Mudoro had gone to Runyowa Business Centre to drink beer yet he was not an imbiber, thereby raising suspicion.
Mrs Mudoro then reported the matter to a villager who teamed up with others to look for Mudoro but Chikumbo quickly disappeared from home.
The team looked for Mudoro but could not find him since it was dark, only for his lifeless body to be discovered lying in a pool of blood, the following morning, with four deep cuts on the head.
“Beside the body, there was a bloodstained axe,” she said. However, a villager said Chikumbo could have committed the crime because of jealousy over his employer’s EcoCash balance.
“Chikumbo became jealous when he saw a balance of $700 in his employer, a pensioner’s EcoCash wallet. He wanted the money since he knew the pin code. The challenge we have now is no one knows his original place of birth,” said the villager.