IN what befits a script for a horror movie, a 29-year-old man from Hobhouse, Mutare, allegedly killed his wife, ra_ped the corpse and hung it from a roof truss in their bedroom in a bid to conceal the crime by faking suicide.
The grisly murder comes at a time the world is advocating the protection of women’s rights during this month.
After allegedly committing the offence in full glare of his two minor children, Joel Mutasa escaped to Penhalonga, just outside Mutare, where he was arrested by detectives following a tip-off.
Acting Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Wiseman Chinyoka confirmed the arrest of Mutasa for allegedly killing his wife, Bryline Ngare (27).
“The now deceased and the accused person were husband and wife blessed with two children aged seven and five, respectively. The couple had a long-standing dispute, with Mutasa accusing Ngare of having an extra marital affair. Mutasa left home in January.
“On February 25, the now late Ngare retired to bed with her two children. Around midnight, Mutasa came and knocked on the door. Ngare opened the door,” said Asst Insp Chinyoka. A misunderstanding ensued between the two, resulting in Mutasa grabbing Ngare on the neck and strangling her to death. After killing her, Mutasa undressed Ngare and became intimate with the corpse.
“The suspect used a wet towel to clean Ngare’s private parts before changing her clothes,” said Asst Insp Chinyoka.
Mutasa allegedly took a thick yellow twine and joined it with a wire.
He tied it around the deceased’s neck, lifted her up from the bed and hung her on the roof truss.
He then disappeared.
Later that morning, a neighbour was awakened by the couple’s children who were crying as they tried to open the door from inside.
The neighbour opened the door and saw Ngare’s body hanging from the truss.
A report was made at ZRP Hobhouse.
During interviews with neighbours, detectives picked up that the couple had a history of disputes and that they were no longer staying together.
One of the neighbours told the detectives that she heard a knock and Mutasa’s voice around midnight, but surprisingly she did not see him in the morning.
A search for the suspect was conducted but it yielded nothing.
Detectives were tipped that Mutasa was at Premier Central, Penhalonga, where he was panning for gold.
Police reacted swiftly and went to Penhalonga in search of him.
Upon his arrest, Mutasa admitted to strangling his wife.
He also revealed that he had ra_ped the corpse and later hung it from the roof truss to fake suicide.
In 2020, the national gender-based violence hotline run by women’s rights charity Musasa answered nearly 7 000 calls from mainly women in distress, a 40 percent increase from the previous year.
By the end of 2020, Musasa had helped some 40 000 women via its hotline as well as shelters, mobile clinics, social media sites and legal assistance centres.
Advocacy groups say many more incidents of physical violence go undetected, with about nine in 10 of reported cases linked to abuse by a husband or partner.