Cletus Mushanawani Mutare Bureau
Elisha Murimba (54), who sliced open his wife’s throat in a blood-curdling murder and later committed suicide, died a bitter man and laid a host of allegations against Mrs Victoria Murimba.
The allegations, which were contained in a five-paged suicide note, ranged from infidelity on the part of the slain woman to being sidelined in the family business venture despite having contributed financially towards its growth.
The note dated September 9, 2017 and headlined “Why it had to happen” gave details of what led him to kill his wife.
It is not clear whether he wrote it after killing his wife because Mrs Murimba’s body was discovered around 11am on the same day.
“If you were in my shoes, you would understand why I did this. Outside, Victoria mentions all the good things about me, but the relationship is devoid of love. She sleeps on the edge of the bed, 99 percent of the nights. Any sexual activity is preceded by some heated exchange . . .”
Elisha claimed that his late wife was always active on the WhatsApp platform up to almost midnight.
“She’s up at midnight on WhatsApp. If I wake up, she switches off the phone and if I enquire, she says its a client. Some of the audios I accessed while talking to her close friends have been completely derogatory of me and my family.
“Kushata here, mazi-knock-knees ano. They speak in hashed tones with her sister, brother or close relatives/friends.
“If you look around the house, the photos are for her relatives only. None of my relatives. Even the neighbours testify to this. Occupancy always of the Muzwakas and the Murimbas come during funerals only. This can’t continue,” wrote Elisha.
He claimed that he had contributed towards the construction of the family house and business.
“Before and after going abroad, I had bought and continued to purchase things for my “supposed” family. I bought her cars and paid for building materials, labour costs etc. When the restaurant started, likewise I purchased all the equipment, cattle, deep freezer etc.
“When this initial enterprise graduated to the wedding decor, the tents etc were paid for by me. When the fourth tent was bought during our long discussion, she assured me that these things were for our family business. When funds were required for developing the Ridgeview Gardens, again, I paid the costs of grading the grounds and the access roads.
“Two boreholes were sunk with unpleasant outcomes. Despite her assurances, she registered the enterprise in her name.
“Today and to date, she has flatly refused to co-own the existing business. The business is run between her and her sister’s daughter. Any enquiries regarding the business setting invites very coarse language. Her brother in Harare, Abel, I bought him his business equipment, but today they treat me like a crazed lunatic. Well, a craze one I become tonight.”
He declared only his children and grandchildren should occupy their Bordervale home upon their deaths.
He predicted his death by saying: “I can see the vultures circling for my death. Yes, I will die, but on my terms. I was willing to forgive her for whatever past, but to have her run off to another man or woman, I just can’t stomach that. She has refused to let go her dark side associations and these have become her advisors. I won’t be tortured as happened in the past many years.”
Mrs Murimba’s brother, Mr Abel Muzuwaka, could neither confirm nor deny his in-law’s claims.
“If I comment on the contents of the note left behind by my in-law, I will be lying because the note is in the hands of the police. I cannot also comment on whether he contributed towards the building of their house or the development of the family business,” said Mr Muzuwaka in a telephone interview on Thursday.
However, in an interview during his sister’s funeral wake last week, Mr Muzuwaka said: “I never heard of any misunderstanding between the couple. I even paid them a visit when I heard that he was back and he did not show any signs that all was not well between them.
“He had never stayed in the house before and it was my sister who toiled day and night to build this mansion where she met her fate. My sister once followed him to Nigeria after seeing him on a TB Joshua show on television. That is when he migrated to South Africa.
“Maybe my in-law was not expecting the developments he witnessed at the place he left being a mere ground and suspected that my sister was having extra-marital affairs.
“Maybe greed led him to commit this heinous act because my sister, who was a businesswoman’s purse was emptied. We know that she had some money, but we could not find a single cent. I am in pain for this sad loss.”
Having only arrived back in the country on August 2 with just a satchel after so many years that took Elisha to countries such as the United States, Australia, Nigeria and South Africa, many questions beg answers on why the man finally decided to retrace his footsteps to a place he turned his back on close to 20 years ago.
One of Elisha’s daughters claimed that her father had kidnapped her in South Africa and forced her to stay in a makeshift house in the notorious Soshanguve Squatter Camp for almost four years.
The family also spoke of Elisha’s utterances while still in South Africa when he is alleged to have said he was seeing darkness upon his return home.
It was also claimed that of late, Elisha was behaving in a funny manner and would dash into the kitchen, grab his plate and ask whoever would be cooking to serve him first.
A neighbour who was among the first to attend the scene, Mr Gumisai Mawadza, said his return coincided with the resurfacing of the couple’s daughter who was said to be in South Africa.
Another neighbour, Mrs Priscilla Basvi, said they were preparing to attend Elisha’s surprise welcome party when tragedy struck.
“The day when Mai Murimba’s body was discovered was initially set for her husband’s surprise welcome party, but it was moved to this weekend as it coincided with a church programme.
“Together with my husband, we visited the Murimbas when we heard that the father was back. From the brief interaction we had with him, we discovered that he was a talkative character as he dominated the conservation. What took us aback was that he had little to show for all the years that he spent in the Diaspora. He told us so many tales of his stay in Texas in the United States of America,” she said.
Elisha’s sister, Mrs Lucia Gwaunza, said: “The couple were so prayerful and were devout United Methodist Church members before Elisha went to the United States of America.
“Victoria once approached me to accompany her to Nigeria and South Africa after she learnt that Elisha was wallowing in poverty. She was concerned that Elisha was living in poverty.
“She wanted to come back home with him. I could not go because I had so many commitments here. She, however, visited him. This gave us an impression that all was well between the couple and that they loved each other.”
“Before he left for the Diaspora, they were leading a decent life at this house. We grew up together. He was a peace-loving man who was always jovial. This incident shocked us as a family.”
“We are still to come to terms with the tragedy. We never met when he came back. I was yet to see him,” said the dejected Lucia who resides in Masvingo.
Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa expressed concern over the increase in domestic violence-related murders in the province.
“It is indeed regrettable that people continue to lose their lives through cases of domestic violence despite persistent calls against the scourge by both the police and other concerned sections of the public,” said Insp Kakohwa.
He said the death of Victoria Murimba was one of the many deaths that had occurred as a result of gender-based violence.
Insp Kakohwa urged couples with domestic disputes to always seek counselling from third parties, church, traditional and community leaders as well as the police’s Victim Friendly Unit and community relations officers in order to solve their disputes.
“We take this opportunity to advise couples in estranged relationships to always alert and seek the intervention of the police whenever they feel that they are in danger of harm arising from domestic violence,” said Insp Kakohwa.