THE dastardly phenomenon of “passion killing” has become a tragic trend in the country of late.
This contemptible form of killing is undoubtedly an extreme version of gender-based violence, often also referred to as intimate partner homicide, which is probably a better characterisation. Passion killings are murder cases between intimate partners such as husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, and exes.
The murders occur in sudden bursts of rage across the country. On Wednesday our sister paper Chronicle carried a story in which a man from Insuza, Matabeleland North, allegedly killed his wife at her employer’s house in Bulawayo’s Tshabalala suburb, before hanging himself.
Munyaradzi Moyo, said to be about 35 years old, allegedly committed suicide in the presence of two children aged three and six after he viciously stabbed his wife Nomsa Mvere, who sources said was in her mid 20s, twice.
Mvere had reportedly started work as a maid a day before she was grisly murdered.
As if that is not enough, in some section of this paper we carry a story in which a Bulawayo man, Khotso Ncube opened up about the murder of his pregnant girlfriend Fortunate Sithole (27) from Mahatshula North suburb in Bulawayo.
Sithole was allegedly murdered by her other boyfriend at a city lodge where they were booked.
Ncube revealed that he thought he was dreaming when the death news was confirmed and besides being shocked by the death, the news that she was pregnant hurt him more.
When Sithole died the two had been engaged and at an advanced stage of wedding preparations.
“We had been together for five years and preparing for our wedding in March. I did not even have a clue that she was still communicating with Tonderai Marabwa whom I believed they had separated many years ago.
“To make it worse, the pregnancy issue was news to me and I wonder what was really happening, but unfortunately I will never get the answers,” said Ncube.
The above chilling cases and others unreported serve as living testimony to show that passion killing seems to be based on the notion of male authority and male power, that is, that somehow the needs of men are more important and that men should be in control.
What is also greatly disconcerting about this inhumane phenomenon (passion killings) is that the victim always appears to be blamed when it is highlighted that the male had heavily invested on her.
One of the challenges associated with this crime is that it is committed in the private sphere of the home.
A number of reasons have been advanced explaining the high incidence of passion killings in Zimbabwe, including unequal power dynamics in relationships between men and women.
Men are also labelled as perpetrators since they are usually regarded as cultural providers for women and this creates dependency where women expect support financially from the household provider, without reference to financial standing.