Abel Zhakata Senior Weekender Reporter
SCORES of irate residents in Sakubva’s Mcgrecors section besieged an apartment in the neighbourhood Monday morning baying for the blood of a tenant whom they accused of forcing her husband to commit suicide because of her promiscuous ways.
Police officers from Chisamba Police Station who attended the scene had a torrid time in controlling the raging residents who wanted a pound of Hilda Nerupandayi’s flesh. As residents became restive outside, her husband, Pfumai Samhande’s body was still on the couple’s matrimonial bed awaiting crime scene investigations by the cops.
It was alleged that Mhande (32) drank an unknown poisonous substance on Saturday evening following a scuffle with his wife over infidelity allegations. What irked residents was that Nerupandayi (22) and her mother, Sekai Nerupandayi, kept the deceased at home for two days leaving him to succumb to the poison on Monday morning yet Sakubva District Hospital is a stone throw away from their lodgings.
When The Weekender arrived at House Number 9 Mcgrecors, police officers laboured to block residents from entering the house. The residents who were singing denigratory songs wanted to force their way into the house and mete instant justice on Nerupandayi and her mother. Nerupandayi refused to talk to The Weekender while her mother said she had travelled all the way from Bikita to come and solve the domestic dispute.
“I did not know anything about the poison. I was only called by my daughter to come and solve the problems here. I have come here on numerous occasions before to salvage the marriage each time they fought. People can say what they want but I know nothing,” she said. Residents argued that Hilda and her mother must have told neighbours about Mhande’s condition soon after he disclosed to them that he had drunk poison. Letting him to suffer for two days, they said, and eventually passing on without taking him to hospital for treatment was cruel.
“These people knew exactly what they were doing. How can you spend two days with a person who has disclosed to you that he drank poison? Under normal circumstances they were supposed to take him to hospital quickly at the very moment he disclosed the poison issue.
“They are saying that they did not have money to hire an ambulance but they were supposed to alert us as their neighbours so that we chip in and help. It does not make sense to tell us of his death now yet they were supposed to do likewise when he was still ailing. Something is fishy here,” said a neighbour who requested anonymity. Some who claimed to be conversant with the turbulent marriage said Mhande was pained after he allegedly caught his wife red-handed having quality time with a boyfriend.
“This is not the first time for him to attempt to commit suicide. At one instance I took away a bottle of rat killer he had bought saying he wanted to end his life. We sat as a family and resolved the issue but from the look of things his wife was no longer interested in him,” said another neighbour who requested anonymity. Others said Mhande was an abusive husband and was recently arrested by the police after assaulting his wife.
“People tend to sympathise with a dead person but we must be fair and be able to point out the bad things he did to his wife. He was abusive towards her and no woman wants to live with a man who is abusive. The crux to the matter is that Hilda was no longer interested in this marriage and she wanted to move on but Mhande could have none of it. He was now forcing himself on her. This resulted in this sorry state of affairs,” said a neighbour who only identified himself as Chipo. Manicaland police spokesman, Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa urged couples to solve their domestic disputes amicably and not to resort to suicide or violence.