POLICE have intensified investigations into a case in which a prominent elderly couple from Emzaza Village in Mangwe District, Matabeleland South was gruesomely murdered by suspected robbers who raided their homestead on Tuesday night and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Mr Nicholas Nleya (83), who had partially lost his sight, and his wife Margaret (78), who was now walking with the aid of a stick after developing back problems, begged their assailants to take the money that was in the safe and spare their lives, but they set the couple’s bedroom alight using a petrol bomb.
The couple had 10 children – six daughters and four sons. Investigations carried out so far revealed that sometime in August, the couple sold seven herds of cattle and it is believed that the assailants who raided their house knew this.
The robbers struck on Tuesday at around 9pm. They broke the window to the couple’s bedroom to gain entry into the house and started assaulting them while demanding cash.
On hearing this two herd boys, who stay with the couple, aged 19 and 15, fled. The couple, who were committed members of the Roman Catholic Church and used to teach at Empandeni Primary School that is run by thei church, were popular figures in the community.
Mr Muleya’s passion was livestock production while his wife focussed on crop production.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday confirmed the incident and said no arrests have been made yet.
“We are investigating the case in which an elderly couple (83) and (76) in Plumtree lost their lives when unknown accused persons’ petrol bombed their home, demanding some money.
“The couple, who were burnt to death in the inferno had earlier on sold seven herd of cattle and it is suspected that the assailants had information to this effect. Police are investigating the matter,” he said.
He said members of the public with information that can assist them in conducting investigations should contact any nearest police station.