In a shocking case in which four Zimbabwean men allegedly hacked a middle-aged woman to death with an axe, Mooketsi Modubi, a former employer of the accused men, testified before Francistown High Court Judge, Zibani Makhwade, on Wednesday that the axe in connection with the cold blood murder belonged to him.
The quartet, Phanuel Hlabangani Mpofu, Assure Ndlovu, Butholizwe Ndlovu and Romeo Mpofu, are alleged to have murdered Irene Nthoi, a former employee in the Communications Department of the Orapa Mines on the 16th of June in 2007 along the Orapa/Francistown road near Matsitama Village.
Modubi revealed before court that the first time he met two of the accused men was on the 11th of February 2007, when Phanuel Hlabangani Mpofu and Romeo Hlabangani Mpofu both came to his home seeking employment.
“I then told both of the men that the only job I could offer was in the fields where they had to clear the bushes and cut down stumps,” he said.
He pointed out that they reached an agreement and the two proceeded with their job where upon he offered them an axe, pick and a shovel.
The witness further testified that on the 19th of the same month, he decided to go and check the progress of the work in the fields and the two men were nowhere to be found.
“In the afternoon, as I was at home I was shocked to see police vehicles in my neighbours’ yards. I then decided to go and see what the problem was only to realize that Romeo and Phanuel were in police custody,” he said.