October 19, 2017 / comments : 0
BY MICHAEL MAGORONGA
Her life promised glitz and glamour after having met a rich and famous man at Zororo Growth Point, Zhombe in Midlands province, but it suddenly turned into a big nightmare.
Patricia Mukondiwa (30) could not believe anyone who dared tell her bad things about her future husband.
She would do anything, including physical attacks, to defend her lover Makesure Simango from any accusations, despite them coming from all angles.
It was in 2007 when the two met at the popular growth point 45 kilometres out of Kwekwe city, along the Gokwe highway and agreed to get married. The nuptial arrangements and rituals were subsequently made without much fuss as Simango was moneyed. In no time the two were staying together as husband and wife.
A decade down the line, Mukondiwa has now engaged the courts in a bid to extract her two children from her hubby who has, according to her, morphed into a monster.
She has deserted him in fear of death following streaks of violence. The two bore three children together and when she made good her escape, Mukondiwa took with her their last-born son and left behind the other two, Nathan (12) and Purity (9), whom she claims are being abused by their father.
The pair is reportedly staying with Simango's in-laws. But wait a minute, these are not Mukondiwa's parents, they are Simango's second wife's parents. The kids are subject to massive abuse and have since dropped from school. This bothers their mother who is losing sleep over her children's plight.
Fighting back tears, Mukondiwa explained how they met and the transformation that took place in 'Baba Nathan' as Simango is fondly known at the growth point.
"When we met I couldn't tolerate anyone who dared accuse him of anything to do with violence as he was a soft and seemingly quiet person," she narrated.
Money, as they say is the root of all evil, also came into the matrix as it blinded the naïve Mukondiwa that she did not heed wise counsel not to date Simango.
"He would spoil me with gifts and money which deceived me. Even after we got married, officers from Zhombe Police Post knew me as I would go and literally undress at the station whenever he got arrested for assaults or any other offence. I would always fight in his corner."
Her life took a U-turn after a prophet shockingly told her Simango was a well-known murderer with a backlog of murder cases still under investigation.
She heard police were afraid of arresting him as he was a ruthless killer of repute who was not afraid to bludgeon his victims using a machete or a knife.
"When I asked him about the issue, he simply laughed it off. He asked me what I intended to do about it. From there things changed as I was turned into a punching bag, an object of abuse and there was nothing I could do about it," she narrated, amid tears.
Mukondiwa's visit to the prophet was to open a can of worms. Simango, together with the notorious Blessed 'Undertaker' Makuvaza, Bhundu and one Tawanda killed at least three people, the prophecy revealed.
Makuvaza, in his 30s, is well known and fearless alleged slayer who at one time gained notoriety for robbing artisanal gold panners of their minerals at mine claims in and around Kwekwe. In one of his many infamous heists, he stopped a Zupco bus and ordered the conductor to surrender all his day's takings before stripping passengers of their cash and valuable possessions. Makuvaza, who is believed to use black magic for his antics, orchestrated this move alone.
At one point, it is rumoured Makuvaza and Simango teamed up and went to Mutare where they tried to rob a woman of a diamond but she swallowed it, prompting the duo to prise open the woman's belly inorder to extract the gem.
The two, add to them Tawanda and Bhundu, popularly known as Baba Kundai, have given Zhombe artisanal gold miners a torrid time as they can do anything to anyone. Police and traditional leadership have seemingly failed to stop them.
Most of their cases have been swept under the carpet. Fears in the community are that the gang might be working in cahoots with the police. As part of the deal, investigations revealed, police get shares from the spoils the gang would have collected in return for protection.
Mukondiwa said she fails to understand why these terrorists are not arrested as they are not registered gold buyers who brandish machetes wherever they go. All these crimes they commit could result in one spending not less than six months in jail.
Mukondiwa was living with a monster, sharing the same blanket and house with a murderer. What was going through her head all this while?
"I was not secure, at times his brother would come to my rescue as he would have drawn his machete threatening to chop me into pieces. We lived in the same compound with his brother and wife. At one time I ran away and went to my parents where he came and forcibly took me away from them. He even threatened to kill them," she said.
In 2013, Simango married a second wife. At least they were to share the problems, Mukondiwa thought. But alas it spelt more grief for her as the new wife was to become his new sweetheart.
But what led Mukondiwa to throw in the towel, at last?
"He almost killed me for talking to my relatives. He had ordered that my relatives should not set foot at our homestead. He almost chopped me to pieces with a machete and I used our baby as a shield. Once again his brother came to my rescue. I could not take it any further and decided to run away."
Mukondiwa's case is only a tip of the iceberg. Her case represents similar situations of women who are suffering at the hands of animalistic artisanal miners. Zhombe and Silobela have many such cases of housewives who are staying in homes despite being abused by their husbands daily.
But Mukondiwa's confessions leave us with more questions than answers. Why are these serial offenders not in jail where they rightfully belong? Are they working in cahoots with police? If not, what are the law enforcers doing about it? What will happen to Mukondiwa say she bumps into her estranged husband in the street?
Your guess is good as mine! LOCAL
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