A VILLAGER allegedly beat a soldier to death in a dispute over a missing cell phone during a drinking spree at a business centre in Bulilima District.
Busani Sibanda (28), who was based at 23 Combat Station in Magunje, Hurungwe in Mashonaland West Province, had an altercation with Sithelo Ndlovu (30) after his cell phone went missing and suspected that Ndlovu had stolen it.
Chief Mpini confirmed the incident which occurred on Friday last week at around 6PM at Ndiweni Business Centre in Ndiweni Ward in Bulilima which falls under his jurisdiction.
“I received a report of a soldier who was killed at Ndiweni Business Centre. The deceased and the suspect are from my area although the soldier was based in another area. I’m not sure what caused the altercation as I’m yet to receive full details but the two men were fighting and the villager assaulted the soldier with a stick resulting in his death,’’ he said.
Chief Mpini said the incident had left villagers shocked and he raised concern over murder cases that were being recorded in the area.
The chief said people must drink responsibly and not turn drinking spots into war zones.
Sources close to the investigations said Sibanda and Ndlovu were drinking at a bottle store at Ndiweni Business Centre when Sibanda realised that one of his two cell phones was missing and he confronted Ndlovu.
A source who preferred anonymity said Ndlovu denied taking the cell phone and emptied his pockets for Sibanda to see but Sibanda accused him of either selling or hiding the cell phone.
“Sibanda took Ndlovu’s bicycle which was at the business centre and threatened to keep it if he didn’t return his cell phone. The two men started fighting and Ndlovu struck Sibanda with a big stick several times all over the body and also kicked him several times until he bled from the nose and mouth.
‘’Sibanda was rushed to Plumtree District Hospital where he died upon admission while Ndlovu was arrested,’’ said the source.
The source said Sibanda will be buried at his rural home in Bulilima tomorrow.