A Shurugwi man has been arrested for fatally axing his wife after she forcibly took him to a self-proclaimed prophet to get prayers to help him quit beer and start going to church.
The incident happened last week when Tapuwa Chinyama (34) of Village 3, Beacon Kopje in Shurugwi, struck his wife of two years, Betserai Shava (38), with an axe on the head and neck, while his eight-year-old stepdaughter watched haplessly.
It is understood that the couple had a long-standing dispute over Chinyama’s drinking habits.
She had been trying to persuade him to quit beer and start going to church. Chinyama was not asked to plead when he appeared before Shurugwi magistrate Mr Tayengwa Sangster on Thursday last week, facing murder charges.
He was remanded in custody to January 19.
Mr Sangster advised Chinyama to apply for bail at the High Court.
It is the State’s case that on January 8, at around 12pm, Chinyama and Shava, together with their daughter, approached a self-proclaimed prophet from the same village seeking spiritual guidance and counselling so that Chinyama could quit beer.
After the prayer session, Shava and her daughter left first, while Chinyama remained behind.
Chinyama later caught up with two near a stream about 80 metres from the prophet’s shrine.
On approaching his wife and stepdaughter, Chinyama allegedly retrieved an axe that he had hidden in a nearby bush and struck Shava on the head and neck while his stepdaughter watched.
Shava died on the spot, while the daughter fled the scene.
The daughter then rushed back to the prophet’s homestead where she informed the prophet’s wife and other villagers.
The matter was reported to the police, leading to Chinyama’s arrest. Chinyama allegedly caused a stir at Shurugwi Police Station when he attempted to commit suicide by banging his head several times on a toilet seat, claiming that he was having visions of his dead wife’s spirit tormenting him.
He was rushed to Shurugwi District Hospital for treatment.
Mr Pride Gomera appeared for the State.