RESIDENTS of Mutare’s Sakubva high-density suburb were left awestruck last week after a soldier doused his wife with petrol before setting her on fire, in a horror incident that also left him heavily burnt by the raging flames. The resultant inferno left his wife’s family house, a shell as property worth thousands of dollars was reduced to ashes.
Police confirmed the incident and said Tawanda Chigodora Gwidibira (32) a.k.a Madzibaba Gabriel, who resides at ZNA 3 Brigade Headquarters, is under police guard at Mutare Provincial Hospital Male Ward B, where he is battling for life while his wife, Deliwe Nyamunokora (25), has since been transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare where she is reportedly in a critical condition.
Tawanda Chigodora is facing attempted murder charges.
He was last week remanded to October 30 from his hospital bed by Mutare magistrate, Mr Langton Mukwengi.
Mr Cuthbert Bosha prosecuted.
When The Weekender visited the neighbourhood soon after the incident, witnesses said Chigodora was determined to kill his wife and commit suicide thereafter because of prolonged marital disputes they had.
They have been married for five years and have two children.
On the day in question, it is alleged that Chigodora went to his wife’s family home in the Avenues section of Sakubva at around 3pm.
He allegedly forcibly took his two children from his wife and sent them to his best friend, identified as Madzibaba John, who stays in Dangamvura. At around 1am, the following morning, he allegedly brought five litres petrol to Sakubva where his wife was staying.
“He forcibly entered the house in which Deliwe was asleep.
“In a fit of rage, he sprinkled petrol all over the room, with Deliwe inside, before setting it on fire. The room was engulfed by a fire ball which also burnt him. His wife screamed for help, alerting neighbours who rushed to the scene and came to her rescue,” said a relative who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Neighbours said the attack was pre-planned, adding that Chigodora was agitated because his wife constantly blocked him from paying lobola because of his violent nature.
Before he carried out the gruesome act, he is alleged to have sent a text message to one of the neighbours.
“Tawanda wanted to pay lobola, but Deliwe would not allow him.
“He had told me earlier that he had sold his car and other belongings to raise money for lobola, but his wife would have none of it. I received a message from him towards midnight which read: ‘Mota ndakatengesa, mafertiliser 35 ndakatengesa ndichida kugadzirisa nyaya dzangu. Hazvina mhosva shamwari. Mukoma. Alec ari kuHobhouse. mumuti atore hembe dzangu dziri kwaRutendo. Sara zvakanaka hama,” said the neighbour who requested not to be named.
When approached to comment about the incident, Chigodora’s friend, Madzibaba John, refused to shed more light.
Instead, he expressed bitterness towards the police, whom he said were not co-operating with him over the fate of Chigodora’s children who were left in his care.
“I cannot say anything about what happened, rather I can confirm that I am the one staying with Madzibaba Gabriel’s (church name) two children. However, I will not hide my bitterness towards the police because since the whole saga began, they have not helped me anyhow despite knowing fully well that I have the children at my place. The children’s relatives have been approaching me to take them, but I cannot hand them over unless the police approve of it,” he said.
Those conversant with the matter said the couple’s relationship was a time bomb as they were always at each other’s throat.
“This guy was violent and he was always beating up his wife. The two were always at loggerheads despite the fact that they have been living together for close to five years now.
“It did not come as a surprise to me when I heard that he had burnt his wife like that because I knew his behaviour,” said a neighbour.
Source: Manica Post