By Freeman Razemba
At least seven people were killed by their partners in separate incidents in 149 cases of domestic violence recorded countrywide last week. The deaths were recorded in Bulawayo, Zhombe, Murehwa, Seke, Mutoko, Bindura and Siyabuwa in Matabeleland North Province.
Among the victims was a nine-month-old baby that was poisoned by its mother in Mutoko following an argument with her husband. The two had reportedly argued over the paternity of the child. Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said of the 149 recorded cases, 143 were committed by men and the remainder by women.
“From these cases, seven deaths out of the 15 recorded last week were as a result of domestic violence,” he said. Four murders were committed during beer drinks, three were common murders while one was caused by a mentally-challenged person. Snr Asst Comm Bvudzijena expressed concern over the loss of lives as a result of domestic violence.
“Such cases can be avoided if people could go for counselling whenever they have differences,” he said. There were 124 cases of domestic violence recorded early this month. In one of the cases, a man in Siyabuwa killed his mentally-challenged wife by burning down a hut she was in. He tied the wife’s hands with a rope before burning the hut following an argument.
Nobukhosi Ndlovu (27) of Bulawayo allegedly fatally assaulted his wife’s boyfriend he caught him in his house. The South Africa-based man had returned home when he allegedly found the 24-year-old boyfriend in his house and killed him.
Nobukhosi Ndlovu and three accomplices — Alois Moyo (22), Mcedisi Ndlovu (22) and Jacob Banda (27) — have since appeared in court charged with the murder of Tatenda Mahove (24) whom they suspected was having an affair with Nobukhosi’s wife Ester Phiri.
Knowledge Phiri (30) of Zhombe reportedly lured his wife Thembinkosi Moyo (18) into a bushy area where he fatally assaulted her accusing her of infidelity. In February, nine out of 24 murder cases recorded countrywide that month were as a result of domestic related disputes, police said.
Some of the cases were attributed to infidelity while others were because of longstanding disputes. Cases of domestic violence throughout the country remain high despite several interventions to stop perpertrators from committing them, a recent national survey revealed.
This is despite the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act a few years ago to restrain couples from fighting and engaging in hostilities. The most common perpetrator of domestic violence, especially against women has been identified as the current or former husband or partner.
According to the 2010-11 Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency recently, 30 percent of women have experienced physical violence at some point since the age of 15. Of these women, 18 percent experienced physical violence within the past 12 months.
It was also noted that 22 percent of women who have had sexual intercourse reported that their first experience was forced against their will. The report further noted that 27 percent of women interviewed in the survey reported that they have experienced sexual violence and in nine out of 10 cases, the act was perpetrated by current or former husband, partner or boyfriend.