In a gruesome act of domestic violence, a man from Raffingora in Mashonaland West went berserk last week and hacked his wife with a machete, chopping off her thumb and inflicting several deep cuts on the head.
Last Chihoto (37) went into a fit of rage after suspecting his 28-year-old wife, Anita Pikweli, was having an extra-marital affair.
He is now in jail, facing attempted murder charges.
On Tuesday NewsDay visited the severely wounded Pikweli at her parents’ home in Kawaza Township, Raffingora. The woman is nursing several grisly head injuries and a hacked-off thumb, recently sutured to close the gaping wounds.
She related in chilling detail the July 1 horror that she evidently is lucky to have survived.
She had that Friday spent the day with family friends at a funeral in the neighbourhood and had no reason to suspect her husband planned to end her life in the
most cruel of ways that night, she said.
Speaking in between sobs and winces of pain, the mother of one recalled she was in the company of friends and on their way from the funeral in the evening, when they met her husband, Chihoto.
They had a brief amicable chat before he proceeded home where she later followed after parting with her friends.
When she arrived home, Pikweli said she was shocked to find her husband “raving mad” with anger, accusing her of being a woman of loose morals and, without giving her any chance to respond, dealt her a heavy blow felling her to the ground.
“He then took a machete and struck me on the head,” Pikweli recalled, gesturing towards her sutured forehead with the stump of her severed thumb. “That is all I can remember.”
Apparently she passed out after the first machete blow to the head and the other machete attacks to the head and the chopping-off of her thumb, all happened after she had fallen unconscious.
She said she regained consciousness to find herself in hospital – without her right thumb and with several deep cuts on the head and left leg.
During the interview, Pikweli could hardly talk or walk and her parents charged Chihoto’s intention was to kill their daughter.
Chihoto was arrested and taken to Chinhoyi where he has been indicted before magistrate Fani Nyakudya on a charge of attempted murder. He has been remanded in custody to July 18.
In urging the court to deny him bail, the State argued Chihoto was of no fixed aboard – that he was a nomadic tenant. The accused, the State said, was facing a serious charge attracting a lengthy jail term if convicted and that enhanced his chances to abscond.
Besides, the crime was a serious offence over which magistrates had no jurisdiction, the State argued.
According to the State papers, after Chihoto felled his wife, he took a machete and struck the complainant several times on the head, right hand and leg.
In his defence, Chihoto said he thought he was disciplining his wife and denied he intended to kill her
The Women’s Parliamentary Caucus chaired by Goromonzi West MP Biata Nyamupinga recently said cases of domestic violence were on the increase in the country and called for more deterrent sentences.
Recently, a Chitungwiza man, Gorden Tsuro, allegedly axed his wife after a domestic dispute – a case that horrified the nation, triggering a public outcry. Tsuro is denying the allegations.
In another similar incident, an official from the Attorney-General’s Office, Warren Chiwawa, early this year allegedly scalded his wife’s buttocks and sprinkled hot spices into her private parts before raping her.