The Valentine’s Day gunner unmasked

15022015HER-MAI-HAR-04Fortious Nhambura Features Writer
The 29-year-old security guard Tawanda Galasi, who shot and killed two sisters, one of them his girlfriend, in a suspected crime of passion on the eve of St Valentine’s Day, was a reclusive person who neither had time for his family or friends.

Mukoma Tawanda, as he was popularly known by fellow workers at Spithead Farm, would simply not join in any conversation and retired to his cabin after work even when others were resting at the communal fireplace at the farm.

In a fit of rage, the Form One drop out Tawanda shot and killed the two sisters Jean and Jill Mahebe before turning the weapon on himself following a disagreement.

The two sisters had paid him a visit for an early St Valentine’s Day celebration.

Tawanda’s mother Monica Galasi yesterday said her son was an introvert who would rarely sustain a discussion as he grew up a virtual hermit.

He was also an ardent Nyau dancer.

“I never thought Tawanda would end in a violent death,” said Mrs Galasi. “

He was a shy guy who never talked about his life with anyone. He never picked an argument with anyone. Once provoked, Tawanda would withdraw into his room without saying a word and play his mbira.

“We were used to Tawanda’s behaviour. Even on his rare visits home to Ngoni, Norton, Tawanda would rarely hold a discussion with anyone, serve to throw a few jokes with his young nephew and niece.”

Mrs Galasi said on a number of occasions she had tried to engage her son in a discussion on his plans to get married and he would quickly brush her off.

“My son never told me that he had a girlfriend,” she said.

“In fact, I never had an opportunity to visit his workplace or meet his girlfriend. Only last December did he mention that he would get married soon, but as usual he did not reveal much.

“He was so much of a quiet and a respectful child that he would not eat food left for him if he was not told to do so.”

The last born in a family of seven, Tawanda had no troubled childhood.

Childhood acquaintances and relatives said he was a man of few words.

His cousin Aaron Moses said Tawanda was very elusive with his life and grew up a recluse.

“Our mothers are blood sisters and we grew up together under the care of our grandmother,” he said.

“I can’t say Tawanda had a troubled childhood as he grew up with both his parents. Although the family was not well up, they could get food on the table every time.

“He dropped out of school in Form One saying he was wasting time and money. I can’t say he was violent mainly because he never attacked anyone but chose to withdraw into his own shell when provoked.”

Trust Benson, a friend and the man who helped Tawanda get a job at Spithead Farm said he was at a loss for words with the sudden turn of events in his friend’s two-year love affair.

“These girls used to come to the farm and Tawanda would entertain them in his cabin,” he said.

“I never knew they had any differences until the fateful day.

“We worked together for a year as security guards before we were sent for a firearm handling course at Chikurubi.

“Tawanda was a trusted colleague that even when he was promoted to work in the fields he was given the keys to the gun cabinet.

“He was also entrusted with keeping the cash for the farm sales and never failed to account for any cent. I am shocked with the murder.”

At the Mahebe homestead in Granary, a sombre mood engulfed the mourners who still had to come to terms with the death of the two girls.

A family spokesperson said they were waiting for post-mortem results at Parirenyatwa Hospital before the bodies are taken to their rural home in Sanyati for burial.

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