A BEITBRIDGE woman is on the run after allegedly hiring hitmen to kill and mutilate her husband for suspected ritual purposes.
Police have launched a manhunt for Khathutshelo Moyo after the body of Langton Ribombo (35) of Gwazhule village in Lutumba, Chief Sitauze area was discovered half-naked on Saturday dumped in a bushy area near her homestead along Beitbridge-Masvingo Road at Mapolovhela village under Chief Matibe.
The couple are alleged to be cross-border cigarette smugglers.
Ribombo was reported missing on Wednesday last week.
His head was crushed and police suspect a heavy object could have been used to hit him repeatedly. His lower lip, the tongue, the right eye and flesh below the lower jaw were missing.
Ribombo’s uncle Mr Dumisani Muleya was the last to see him alive when he dropped him about 500 metres from Ms Moyo’s homestead on May 19, 2020.
A pair of his black trousers, as identified by Mr Muleya, was found besides a well.
Ribombo’s brother of Dulivhadzimu suburb in Beitbridge, positively identified the body.
Sources suspect Ms Moyo is behind the murder. They allege that she hired hitmen to kill her husband.
When police attended the scene shortly after 3PM on Saturday, they found struggle marks on the ground at Ms Moyo’s home and further investigations showed drops of blood near a water well in the yard, blood stains on stones and on a hoe handle.
“The blood-stained hoe handle and stones were recovered together with the pair of black trousers. There was a trail of blood from the water well to the gate and outside. Outside the gate were some tyre marks, where the trace of the blood was last observed,” sources said.
According to a police memorandum dated May 22, it is suspected that Ribombo was murdered.
“This memorandum serves to put on record the circumstances surrounding a murder case, which occurred on May 19, 2020 at Khathutshelo Moyo’s homestead Mapolovhela Village, Chief Matibe, Beitbridge,” reads the communique.
Police also recovered an abandoned blood-stained Honda Fit car registered under one Mr Showman Muleya, about 10km from the suspected murder scene, suggesting Ribombo was bundled into the car.
The body was taken to the Beitbridge District Hospital mortuary for a post mortem.
The recovered blood-stained exhibits have been taken to the Forensic Science Laboratory for examination.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele said investigations are in progress and there are no arrests so far.
Ribombo was once fined R20 000 after police raided his homestead and found 700 boxes of export quality cigarettes worth $200 000.
The consignment was hidden in huts while awaiting smuggling into South Africa through undesignated entry points along the Limpopo River.
Meanwhile, in a statement posted on Twitter, police said last week they arrested a Maphisa man for attempted murder after grazing a rival with a bullet on the head following a dispute over a woman.
“The suspect and the complainant had been involved in a brawl over a woman. Police recovered an AUT Pistol ZR 6,35mm from the suspect and the victim is recovering in hospital. The ZRP is warning licensed firearms holders against abusing their firearms,” read the statement.