Zimbabwe: There was drama in Bulawayo as the family of a murdered man held his funeral service at their neighbor’s home in Pumula South suburb on Sunday accusing them of fatally beating him.

The deceased Blessing Zikhali was accused of stealing a Manchester United t-shirt from a washing line.

Zikhali, 30, died on Wednesday after he was allegedly brutally assaulted at the neighboring house where Khumbulani Sithole also known as Sniper, an umalayitsha (cross-border transporter) brandished a pistol to frighten people from rescuing his victim.

Zikhali’s family held the funeral service at Sithole’s home, three houses away from theirs.

Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said two people — Farai Fero and Fortune Ngwenya — have been arrested over the murder.

The Chronicle reports that its news crew attended the service but members of the Sithole family were not at home.

Proceedings including body viewing were held at the neighbor’s gate before the family proceeded to Athlone Cemetery Extension for burial.

The Sithole family was not part of the burial and it is said they bought a goat to be slaughtered for mourners, but the Zikhali family would have none of it. The news crew found the goat tied at the locked gate.

Lindiwe Ndlovu, the deceased’s aunt said Zikhali was accused of stealing Sithole’s Manchester United t-shirt from a washing line. Sithole claimed the t-shirt was expensive and it cost him R1 200.

He also claimed the shoe-print of the person who stole the t-shirt was similar to Zikhali’s shoeprint.

They reportedly fetched Zikhali from his home at 8 AM and started assaulting him until around 1 PM.  They came back at about 4 PM and assaulted him in front of his father who watched helplessly as Sniper, locked the gate to his home, and drew a pistol making it impossible for anyone to render any assistance.

He threatened to shoot anyone who would enter his home as they assaulted him using a copper cable.

After brutally assaulting him, they handed him over to the police. While at the police station, the officers realized that Zikhali was seriously injured and arrested two men for assault. The police also called an ambulance to take Zikhali to Mpilo Central Hospital where he later died.

A third culprit escaped together with Sniper, it is alleged that the two crossed the border to South Africa.

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