By Bruce Ndlovu
Proverbs 6:26 “For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.”
When Millicent Chimbadza Magorimbo announced on Facebook in November that she was now in a relationship there was jubilation from a handful of her followers on the social media site, with most comments lauding her for the bold move of sharing her relationship status proudly.
People updating their status on Facebook is nothing new, so some might have been tempted to ask what was so special about this one damsel sharing news of a new union on a site where relationships that are announced with pomp at dusk can end with a whimper at dawn.
The key to answering that questioning lies in not who she is now dating, but in her last name, Magorimbo. The last time that Zimbabwe saw Millicent she was dressed in black. Joining her was a heartbroken flock, mourners who matched her tear for tear as she tried to come to terms with the untimely passing of her husband.
Their marriage had barely been a year old when he died.
On that occasion her then father-in-law, a man broken by the wear and tear that the burial of a child brings upon a parent, was so distraught he could not give his son the customary graveside send-off, leaving the speech-making duties to his son.
A 21-year-old Millicent had adopted the surname, next to the one that belonged to her father, after she got married to Tinashe Magorimbo, then a 27-year-old human resources manager at the Premier Service Medical Investments (PSMI).
On social media, it is a surname that she still wears like a badge of honour. This is despite the fact that her husband passed away almost five years ago.
When the circumstances of that death, half a decade ago, emerged, they made for quite gruesome reading.
On what was to be his final day on earth, Magorimbo had staggered on to his flat’s staircase before collapsing. A few moments earlier, he had been dumped outside the building.
The man Millicent discovered on her doorstep, four days after his disappearance, was a shell of the fit and fighting young man she had married; a man who had disappeared on May 13, 2013 without a trace.
He later died after being whisked to West End hospital, with post-mortem results indicating that he had died as a result of pesticide poisoning.
But here was the rub: authorities believed he had been force-fed the poison.
His death was to spin a spider’s web that shocked Zimbabwe and kept the country on its tenterhooks.
At the centre of that web was DJ Munya, one of the country’s masters on the decks and the man alleged to be the mastermind behind the plot that had led to Magorimbo’s death.
It is on record that Munya went to confront Magorimbo at his workplace a few days before his disappearance. As with most disputes involving men, a woman was reportedly involved.
The DJ was reportedly incensed by an alleged affair between Magorimbo and his wife, Anna (Anne Semila) Hassen. Magorimbo’s was to later deny the existence of the affair as he defended the honour of the son he felt had been needlessly slain.
According to a woman who claimed to be Munya’s niece, Pande M Flady, the relationship between the two had therefore been long over by the time of the alleged kidnapping. However a relative alleged that Anna had indeed confirmed the affair, which had led to a breakdown in relations between her and Munya.
“She said it in front of the family that she was indeed dating Magorimbo and Munya told her it was over. Munya is the one who said it was over and we tried to reunite him with his wife but in vain,” claimed the relative.
What happened over those few days was subject to a lot of speculation and accusations flung by both sides.
Magorimbo’s father alleged that the two goons that Munya had hired to kidnap his son, Taurai Jani and Mohhamed Matare, had used the deceased’s phone to demand a $5 000 ransom while they held him against his will. The text was sent to PSMI boss David Mandishona.
As days progressed, conflicting stories from various sources seemed to paint a picture of Matare and Jani either as two city cut throat hired to carry out a dastardly act on behalf of a ruthless and aggrieved paymaster or two bungling “fixers” who had messed up a kidnapping job.
The woman claiming to be Munya’s niece, Pande M Flady, at the time claimed that Munya would have hired “real thugs” if he wanted to harm the man who he believed that his wife had been having an extra-marital affair with.
Munya had allegedly hired the two to recover the unpaid balance from a previous deal in which Magorimbo had promised to pay $5 000 as “damage” after he had slept with his wife. After paying $1 000, Magorimbo had subsequently become cagey about paying the balance.
According to some rumours, Munya had got the idea for this scheme from none other than Matare himself. Matare had previously been forced to give up a silver Mercedes Benz C2000 as compensation for sleeping with the wife of a man only known as Derrick.
After a trial that went on for almost two years, Munya’s wish to be removed from remand was finally granted on what was the sixth attempt in February 2015. The state had been struggling to get its house in order and put together a case against the three.
“In the circumstances, the court is convinced that the State is not ready and is not serious. Without the indictment papers, the court cannot continue to keep the accused persons on remand. Therefore their application for refusal of further remand is granted,” said Magistrate Mr Milton Serima.
With those words, DJ Munya became a free man again. Waiting for him was a cushy job as a jockey at top radio station ZiFM where, despite brief protests on social media, he was welcomed with open arms. Since then he has declined interviews, saying that he would speak to the press if given a go ahead by the station.
His co-accused, Jani and Matare, seem also to have embraced life as free men, posting pictures of happy times with family and friends.
As Millicent peruses fresh chapters in the story of her yet young life, it remains to be seen if she indeed has also escaped the shadow of a case that, as yet, still remains unresolved and left a bitter taste in the mouths of many.
Meanwhile, if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit as in the OJ Simpson case. The glove did not fit Munya. In fact there was no glove. But the story continues to have tongues wagging.
And fresh pictures in the media where Munya and Anne finally divorced on Thursday tore open the wounds from the past and got people remembering the epic legal saga that got the nation hooked. The Herald