While losing a spouse is a hard pill to swallow, it is even more painful when they take their own life.
For 24-year-old Shamiso Magosvongo, she had to discover her dead husband’s body hanging from a Dangamvura roof truss at 2am.
While Magosvongo has remained tight-lipped on the nitty-gritty of what really transpired on the fateful day, her in-laws suspect foul play. Those who knew James Marifiye (27) say he was generally a happy man who exhibited no suicidal tendencies. However, they highlighted that during his last few days, Marifiye was a troubled man.
Repeated efforts to contact Magosvongo were fruitless as she was reported to be in Tanganda.
However, in a recorded conversation with her father-in-law, Magosvongo said she was shocked to discover Marifiye’s body hanging from the roof during the early hours of April 20.
“After realising that he had hanged himself, I picked up my child and rushed to inform a neighbour, Mai Kupa. She called her friend and alerted the police. It was very late.”
But Marifiye’s uncle, Farayi Mlambo, said his family suspects foul play.
“We strongly believe that James did not commit suicide. We have a lot of unanswered questions. James had no bruises. There were no signs pointing to suicide. The rope he is said to have used had no signs of friction. The truss was so weak that it would have fallen off.
“We are shocked that Shamiso did not hear any kind of noise, only to realise that he had hanged himself when he was already dead. Something is not adding up and we suspect foul play.” Mlambo said his family has since highlighted their suspicions to the police.
“We believe the truth shall come out.”
However, Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa, said the police officers who attended the scene did not suspect foul play.
Inspector Kakohwa urged couples to solve marital issues amicably.
A post mortem examination revealed that Marifiye’s death was caused by choking and failure to breathe.
According to investigations conducted by The Weekender, Marifiye told a Shield of Victory Ministries pastor and family friend, Pastor Davies English, that he was having marital problems. He suspected that his wife was having extra-marital affairs.
“Six days before he committed suicide, Marifiye revealed that he was having problems with Shamiso. He claimed that his wife would come home around 1am, claiming that she was coming from work,” said Pastor English.
“He also said he was not being paid at his workplace. However, Marifiye always worked tirelessly to provide for his family,” said Pastor English.
In one of the text messages sent between Pastor English and Marifiye, the latter poured out his heart.
“Morning Father, munokwanisa kusvika kuno here. Nekuti ndakaedza kuonesana naye nezuro, she never listened, so ndaikumbirawo muuye ndakuda kuenda kumba, if makasununguka. (Morning Father, would you be able to come here? I tried my best to engage her and solve the issues yesterday but she wasn’t listening. If you are free, can you kindly come over because I now want to go home?)”
The pastor said Marifiye had no suicidal tendencies, adding that his death came as a great shock.
In a report recently released by ZimFact, Musasa Project is said to have recorded 764 cases of gender-based violence in 11 days of the lockdown. On average, Musasa Project usually records 600 cases per month and a director in the organisation, Precious Taru, raised concern over the sharp upsurge of cases.