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Riot at funeral: Widow stones in-laws at suicide wake

By Auxilia Katongomara

ANTI-RIOT police had to be called, to restore order at a funeral wake of a Sizinda man, who committed suicide over his wife’s alleged infidelity, on Sunday evening.

Riot at funeral: Widow stones in-laws at suicide wake
Riot at funeral: Widow stones in-laws at suicide wake

Memory Sibanda reportedly ran amok, pelting her in-laws and residents with stones, after some of them had accused her of causing her husband, Davison Chikukwa, popularly known as Diva, 33, to kill himself.

Residents who had come to grieve with the family scurried for cover after they were caught in the crossfire.

The funeral wake degenerated into a ‘war’ as Sibanda’s in-laws retaliated by throwing stones back at her.

Chikukwa allegedly committed suicide by poisoning, hours after he was shown steamy messages exchanged between his wife and a neighbour on October 10.

Before killing himself, Chikukwa had told close friends that he was tired of his wife’s misdemeanours, as well as brutality at the hands of Tshabalala Police, who detained and beat him up, each time his wife made a false report.

His body was discovered in Selborne Park last Thursday, in an advanced state of decomposition.

The couple had three children.

Residents who spoke to Chronicle, expressed anger at Sibanda, whom they accused of driving her husband to an early death, by ill-treating him and her infidelity.

“This woman has been a problem, each time she didn’t want her husband home, she’d call in Tshabalala police. We suspect she connived with them to get Diva arrested.

“He would sometimes spend three nights in the cells, without her making a follow up,” said a resident who declined to be named.

The resident said Chikukwa had been a troubled soul for a very long time and his friends would bring him food and pay admission of guilt fines on his behalf to secure his release.

“She only loved his money, she didn’t care about him and we suspect that she was having an affair with someone at Tshabalala police station, as a week wouldn’t lapse without him being arrested,” added the neighbour.

On Sunday afternoon, the residents’ association met to discuss how best they could assist the bereaved family financially, as the body had stayed long without burial.

“At the meeting, we resolved that we go and give them something, but on our arrival at the home, we were greeted by stones from the widow. She was throwing stones all over the place, and there was retaliation from her in-laws and residents,” said the neighbour.

“We weren’t expecting that from a woman who had just lost her husband, but we understand that her in-laws weren’t amused by her behaviour, and the revelations that it was her infidelity that had led Diva to commit suicide,” said the neighbour.

Grace Sibanda, one of the late Chikukwa’s confidantes, who spoke to him on the day he disappeared, said Diva was disturbed by his wife’s conduct.

“On October 10, Diva came to my house and told me that his wife was having an affair with one of their neighbours and said it was the neighbour’s wife who came with her husband’s phone, to show him 15 steamy and pornographic messages from Sibanda,” said Grace.

She said the neighbour’s wife had already called Sibanda about her discovery.

“He said he had asked his wife about it ,but she had blatantly denied the affair. He then told me, he would rather go to South Africa to live with his brother or kill himself. Seeing his anger, I then invited another resident, Mathambo Nkomo, who also counselled him and he left the place, a bit better,” said Grace.

Chairperson of the Sizinda residents’ association, Zanyiwe Moyo said the residents were saddened by Diva’s death. She said they were waiting for his burial today, before lodging an official complaint against Tshabalala police officers, who they said brutalised the late Diva.

“The purpose of the residents’ association is to assist each other and this family was not registered in our books, but we resolved to assist them bury the young man, whose body has already decomposed. We’re also going to take action against Tshabalala police who failed to do their duties properly, but took sides and emotionally traumatised this man, leading to his death,” said Moyo.

Memory and Chikukwa’s family refused to talk to Chronicle, saying the issue was private.

The late Chikukwa is expected to be buried at West Park Cemetery, in Bulawayo, today. The Chronicle

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