Crimes of passion or just domestic violence?


ON April 12 this year, the Zimbabwean community in the UK was shocked to learn about the murder of a 22-year-old Zimbabwean woman Leigh-Anne Mahachi at her home in Sheffield.
The police launched a murder hunt and arrested a 37-year-old Tapiwa Furusa on suspicion of murdering Leigh-Anne.
The information on circumstances leading to the death is still scanty as the police are still carrying out investigations.
However, there was a lot of speculation on social media, with some suggesting Furusa may have killed his ‘girlfriend’ as a jilted lover, while others suggested he killed her after a business went wrong (financially).
The Guardian wrote on April 14 2016: “A Zimbabwean mortgage broker has been charged with stabbing to death a 22-year-old former colleague in what police described as a ‘targeted attack’.
“Leigh-Anne Mahachi was found with multiple stab wounds at her home in Sheffield on Tuesday morning, but died later in hospital.
“A 37-year-old man, Tapiwa Furusa, was charged on Wednesday night with murder.
“Furusa, who was living in Colchester at the time of the alleged murder, is to appear at Sheffield Magistrates Court on Thursday morning.
“Furusa is believed to have been a company director with Mahachi of a cleaning firm based in Colchester.”
While all that remains is speculation, what is sad is that a young life was lost under some very gruesome circumstances and the life of a promising mortgage broker (Furusa) has been disrupted as he may spend the remaining years of his life in prison if found guilty.
Whether it was a crime of passion or a crime caused by something that had gone wrong in business (from The Guardian article, it seemed they owned a business together), what is apparent is that in the Diaspora, especially in the UK, Zimbabwean men are losing it and killing their girlfriends or partners/wives.
A lot of Zimbabwean women I spoke to say they are now afraid of dating Zimbabwean men because of the violence.
Some say they are scared of ending relationships with Zimbabwean men when the relationship goes wrong.
“I think kana ndave kutoramba murume wekuZimbabwe kutokwira ndege chaiyo kuenda kuDubai or somewhere else, ndomutumira text message ndiriko kuti relationship yapera,” said one 40-year-old woman.
“Zvekuramba varume vekuZimbabwe zvave kutyisa izvi.”
Other women say they now feel safer dating men from other cultures, because of fear of violence.
“I don’t want to be a statistic of another Zimbabwean woman stabbed to death by a Zimbabwean man,” a 26-year-old Zimbabwean woman who is studying nursing, said.
In June last year, we were shocked by the news of another murder within the Zimbabwean community in the UK, when Josphat Mutekedza, then 35, murdered his girlfriend Miriam Nyazema, also 35.
A Zimbabwean social worker who declined to be named said she thinks most men from Africa, Zimbabwe in particular, have found it difficult to adjust and settle in the UK.
“I work with many cases of domestic violence and most of them involve Zimbabwean couples,” she said.
“It is very sad indeed.
“A lot of children born to Zimbabwean parents are getting into care because of domestic violence.
“But to kill someone because a relationship has ended is very bad.
“Someone’s life will be ended violently, her parents and the parents of the killer, will live in agony.
“The killer will spend his remaining life in prison.
“There is no justification to all this because people should learn to walk away.”
Writing in The Guardian of December 10 2005, Katharine Viner argues that Britain is not a safe place for women anymore.
“Indeed, men’s power over women is at the heart of this depressing story,” said Viner.
“Very often women are killed when they challenge that power, by trying to separate from their partners, or seeing someone else, or doing something that their partner doesn’t want them to do.
“Britain is not getting any safer for women.”
I know a few Jamaican men who say they would rather sleep with prostitutes than to be accused of raping their own wives.
Perhaps food for thought!
A few men I spoke to acknowledge that settling in the UK has not been easy, in a way that women may have found it.
They say they find the system here favouring women and children, much to their frustration.
However, they all agree that killing someone because a relationship has ended or because you find her cheating is not and can never be justifiable.
A 43-year-old Zimbabwean man who separated from his wife some 10 years ago said he will never get married again.
“I have got my children,” he said.
“I play an active role in their lives, but marrying these Zimbabwean women in this country is out of the question.
“Most of my friends who are still married are living in agony.
“They are frustrated.
“They cannot discipline their children in the way they would want to.
“They cannot tell their wives what not to do as we used to do in Zimbabwe.
“Most of them find comfort in having girlfriends or drinking.
“I am not walking that path again, at least not for now.”
In February last year, another Zimbabwean woman, Emily Munemo, was murdered by her husband in Grays, London.
“A Zimbabwean woman, a mother of two has reportedly been found murdered at her house in UK this Saturday morning,” reported an online newspaper last year in February.
“According to reports, Emily died from stab wounds.
“Her husband has been taken into custody and police are not looking for any other suspect.”
On June 16 2004, Nyarai Nyamatanga was also murdered by her husband here in the UK.
The Guardian of December 10 2005, reported: “Nyamatanga, 22, was found dead in a car in Leigh, Wigan; she’d been killed with a stab wound to the neck.
“Her partner, Leon Katina, 30, who had moved from Zimbabwe with her was found hanging in the couple’s flat.
“A coroner’s inquest concluded in June 2004 that there was no third party involved.”
Whatever has gotten into our Zimbabwean community here in the UK, it must come to an end.
There is no need to kill because someone does not want to be with you anymore.


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