A WOMAN from Nyamandlovu in Matabeleland North committed suicide on Tuesday after police were closing in on her for hiring three hitmen to kill her youthful husband two weeks ago.
Ms Sitshengiwe Moyo (42) from Nyamandlovu is said to have hired three illegal gold panners to kill her husband, Arnold Moyo (31).
The incident is said to have happened on July 31 at their homestead in Harrisvale plots in Chief Deli’s area.
Ms Moyo had initially reported at Nyamandlovu Police Station that her husband had been murdered by three men who had visited them at home before they vanished.
She is said to have told the cops that the men were her husband’s friends while the husband had told villagers a day before he was murdered that they were his wife’s relatives.
It is said that police arrested the three suspects in Bulawayo last weekend and invited Ms Moyo to the police station on Monday to assist with investigations.
She is said to have reported at the police station with a relative and during cross-examination, she requested to be excused as she wanted to relieve herself.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda said after leaving the police station, she drank a poisonous substance that led to her death.
“What happened is that this woman was there when the suspects were being interrogated in connection with the murder of her husband in Bulawayo on Monday, August 9. As the process of investigations progressed, she requested to take leave saying she wanted to relieve herself. She was let go and later she called her sister who accompanied her to the police station and had remained at the CID Homicide offices telling her that she was not feeling well and would not be returning,” said Insp Banda.
“The investigating officers acted on the same information and went to the home where she lives in Bulawayo and discovered that she was sick. She had taken a poisonous substance leading to her death. There was no suicide note indicating that she had really hired the hitmen who killed her husband, but from the suggestions and inferences drawn, indications show that she might have hired the hitmen to kill the husband.”
Insp Banda said the three suspects are illegal gold miners and have been arrested in connection with Mr Moyo’s murder.
A Chronicle news crew on Thursday visited the deceased couple’s homestead in Nyamandlovu and found it deserted.
Neighbours spoke in hushed voices as they expressed shock over the incident.
Some of them had just received news that the woman had committed suicide.
The vice-chairperson of Vukuzenzele Burial Society Ms Sithethelelo Ndlovu said Ms Moyo was a member and they were shocked to learn that she had committed suicide.
Ms Ndlovu said when she left her homestead she was mourning and said she was on her way to bury her husband at his rural home in Binga.
“So, we are surprised and shocked to hear that both of them have died. We are even stunned to learn that uMaMoyo is said to have committed suicide. We are also shocked to hear claims that she could have hired men to kill her husband. We had seen those men who we were initially told by Arnold that they were his wife’s relatives.
But when he was dead, she told us that they were Arnold’s friends who had come to take him so that he would join them in gold panning activities in Gwanda,” said Ms Ndlovu.
She said while it has become known that the couple was having domestic problems, they never expected that it would end in tragedy.
Ms Ndlovu said Ms Moyo’s conflicting statements could have sold her out.
Another villager who declined to be named said the fact that the woman was older than her husband could have escalated their problems.
She said she married the youthful man who was employed as her herd boy.
“Initially, they were a very happy couple and they were always moving together. But of late it seems the relationship got sour to an extent that Arnold moved out of their home. But he returned and we would hear that they fought and so forth. UMaMoyo had a fractured arm as a result,” she said.
Another villager, Ms Thandekile Mpofu, said they had learnt with sadness that a relationship could be so broken that couples would end up hiring killers to murder a loved one.
“We are hearing that she hired three men to kill her husband. It’s quite unfortunate, we never expected it. We are even saddened by the fact that she has also died. We thought that she had just gone to bury her husband at his rural home in Binga but to learn that she committed suicide is shocking.
However, I suspect that their problems could have been caused by their age difference. Arnold was quite young, she had grown up children yet Arnold had none. I think this is what caused their marital problems. But they were legally married and as a community we saw them as such,” said Ms Mpofu.
Domestic violence cases and Gender Based Violence cases are said to have drastically increased following the Covid-19 pandemic where couples are said to be spending more time together.
A recent survey revealed that most men are victims of physical, emotional and economic abuse among spouses.
Insp Banda said while it was normal for couples to have differences, they should aim to solve them amicably or seek counselling services.