EIGHT villagers including five members of the same family from Mhondoro have been arrested for beating to death a man they accused of stealing their cattle.
The Chinembiri family from Chinembiri village under Chief Mashayamombe in Mhondoro woke up last Thursday to find that two of their cattle were missing from the pen before teaming up with other villagers to search for them.
On the fateful day, Blessed Chinembiri (32) went to the cattle pen to yoke oxen for ploughing but discovered that two beasts were missing and informed his father Tazvivinga Chinembiri (63).
The two mobilised some family members and other villagers before following footprints that led Josphat Majoka's homestead at Eden Farm in Beatrice. Majoka was not at home at the time but they found him on their way back home and confronted him before they began assaulting him.
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara confirmed the incident adding that the eight suspects were held at Mubaira police station and will appear in court today for initial remand.
"We have arrested eight people in connection with the murder of Josphat Majoka who they allegedly assaulted to death. We are still carrying out investigations," he said.
The Chinembiris including father Tazvivinga (63), Blessed (32), Tendai (25), Taurai (age not given) and Justice have since been arrested together with Luckson Mapfumo (36), Steven Madembo (57) and Marshal Mushikwari (17).
The men made a report at Beatrice police station that they suspected Majoka of stealing their cattle and as they were going home they met and confronted Majoka who was walking with his wife and took him to Masawi business centre where they assaulted him.
After a thorough beating the villagers took him to Mubaira police station where they made a report of stocktheft. That night police referred Majoka to Mhondoro Hospital after noting that he had a swollen left arm and foot and bruises all over his body.
He was having difficulty breathing and was attended to by nurses before being taken to the police station where he later died. Inspector Mabgweazara warned people against taking the law into their own hands saying they risked committing crimes.
"They had done well as citizens to apprehend the suspect but taking the law into their own hands results in unnecessary complications which could have been avoided had they let the police do their job," he said.