Poison laced beer deaths. . .Court expels man over ‘4 killings’

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
CHIEF Shana of Jambezi in Hwange has expelled a villager who the community accuses of killing four people by lacing their beer with crocodile bile and brains.

Villagers in Mulonga accused Never Ephraim Chuma of killing the four people between 2010 and last year.

They allege that Chuma laced traditional opaque beer with crocodile bile and brains which are poisonous when ingested, causing the death of Cosmas Nyoni of Tamuka Village 5 in 2010, Vincent Ncube of Tamuka Village 3 in 2011, Annahstancia Ncube of Makololo 3 in 2017 and Lainos Munkombwe of Tamuka 2 in November last year.

Angry villagers reported the matter to Chief Shana in November last year following the death of Munkombwe who was popularly known as Rasta.

Munkombwe was allegedly reported missing after going on a fishing trip to Masikili in Matetsi with Chuma and his body was found after some days in an advanced state of decomposition.

The villagers alleged that Munkombwe had a beer drink with Chuma at the accused’s homestead before the two left for fishing.

It is alleged that Chuma returned alone while Munkombwe’s body was discovered days later.

Chuma appeared before Chief Shana’s traditional court last month to answer to the accusations which he denied.

However, angry villagers insisted that he be evicted resulting in Chief Shana ordering Chuma to leave at the end of the farming season because he had already planted his crops.

He is one of the few cotton farmers who are contracted under the Command Agriculture programme in Jambezi.

“Villagers said he should go back to Makololo because that’s where he used to stay. He denied the allegations even before police but people said they no longer want him in the community because he had killed about four people. The issue was raised after the death of a man he was said to have gone with for fishing. It was said that he left him and the man was found dead after some days,” said Chief Shana in an interview yesterday.

Chuma is originally from Tamuka village in Makololo area also under Chief Shana.

He reportedly migrated to Mulonga a few years ago, allegedly to cohabit with a girlfriend who had abandoned her husband for him.

Police sources said an investigation has been launched on the allegations.

Chuma has not been arrested because there is no evidence linking him to the killings, the police source said.