13 September 2017

Zimbabwe: $5 Airtime Row Turns Fatal

Photo: [paumelia]/Flickr
(File photo).

A 30-year-old gold panner from Mberengwa was murdered by his uncle, a fellow gold panner, over a $5 airtime recharge card. Dulis Munatsa of Kaguvi Village under Chief Maziofa, Mberengwa, died at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) three days after he was struck on the head with a wooden plank by Timothy Dube (23). Dube appeared yesterday before Mberengwa resident magistrate Mrs Evia Matura facing murder.

Mrs Matura remanded Dube in custody to September 21 and advised him to apply for bail at the High Court.

Asked if he had complaints against the police, Dube said he was remorseful for fatally striking Munatsa.

"He gave me money to buy airtime worth $5 in the morning of the fateful day," he said. "In the afternoon, he asked for his airtime, which I did not have and he started fighting me.

"He was the aggressor and I picked up a wooden plank and hit him on the left side of his head in self-defence and he fell down. He was rushed to Munene District Hospital before he was transferred to a Bulawayo hospital. I was shocked to learn that he had passed on."

The prosecutor Ms Wadzanayi Shayanewako told the court that on September 7 around 4.30pm, Dube hit Munatsa with the wooden plank once on the right side of the head from behind.

"Munatsa bled profusely and was rushed to Munene District Hospital. Upon arrival he was transferred to United Bulawayo Hospitals and passed away on September 9 after three days," she said.

Ms Shayanewako said a report was made to the police, leading to Dube's arrest.

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