A Bulawayo man from Lobengula West suburb reportedly fatally axed his 23-year-old wife after she allegedly "bragged" to him that she had a richer boyfriend.
The man, identified by police as Milton Dube (24), allegedly committed the crime in front of his one-year-old daughter and left the child with the body.
The child was later found crying while cuddling the body.
He allegedly committed the crime at his mother-in-law's homestead in rural Nkayi on Tuesday at about 2am.
Police tracked down Dube who had escaped into a nearby bush after the offence, and arrested him.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Billie Dube confirmed the incident yesterday.
“Milton Dube reportedly had a fight with his wife Ntombiyenkosi Sibanda of Tshudini Sibanda homestead, Dobhane Village in the Sebumane area of Nkayi. She reportedly told him she had a rich boyfriend as they prepared to sleep in their bedroom hut on Monday.
"Their daughter was sleeping with them," said Insp Dube.
He said the couple quarrelled over the issue, until they fell asleep.
"At about 2am, Dube allegedly woke up, took an axe and struck his sleeping wife on the lower part of the right ear. She died on the spot. Dube then took to his heels and disappeared into a nearby bush," he said.
Insp Dube said Dube's mother-in-law, Ms Miriam Nkomo, heard the child crying incessantly at about 4am and was eventually forced to go and find out what was wrong.
"She found her daughter dead, with her granddaughter crying next to the body. Ms Nkomo made a report at Sebumane Police Post. Police attended the scene and managed to track down Dube and arrested him," he said.
Insp Dube said Nkomo’s body was taken to Mpilo Central Hospital for a post-mortem, while Dube is expected to appear in court soon.
He urged people to settle disputes without resorting to violence.
"Violence never helps anyone. This little girl is now likely to grow up without parents as her mother is dead and her father might go to prison for a long time.
She may have to grow up with the trauma and stigma of her father killing her mother. All this could have been avoided through dialogue," said Insp Dube.
He said couples should approach the police, elders, religious or traditional leaders for guidance whenever they had problems, to avoid unnecessary bloodshed in misunderstandings.
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