A GUTU man who escaped xenophobic attacks in South Africa recently hanged himself at his in-laws’ residence in Masvingo yesterday after failing to stomach the fact that his wife had ditched him.
By Tatenda Chitagu
The now deceased, Stephen Mbirikiri (42), from Chiwara, Gutu, returned from South Africa on Saturday morning. He was in a government-hired buses with the second batch of survivors who left Beitbridge town on Friday evening.
He was found hanging from a tree yesterday morning at around 6am by a neighbour.
Mbirikiri’s estranged wife, Tendai Murinye (36), confirmed that the deceased left South Africa, fleeing the xenophobic attacks.
Masvingo acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa confirmed the incident, but said he was yet to get the details.
Mbirikiri hanged himself at his in-law’s house in Mucheke A suburb using a wire.
A broken electrical cable was also found at the scene, an indication he could have tried to use the cable first to commit suicide.
According to Murinye, the couple was on separation, but Mbirikiri had tried to reconcile with her on his return.
“He came back from South Africa on Saturday morning where he had gone last year in September. We were on separation as he used to beat me and had not paid lobola. He came here at my parents’ place seeking reconciliation, but I refused,” she said.
“I told him I could not take him back, but he would have none of it. He told me his things were not okay as he left South Africa fleeing. But I insisted it was over as he had not even paid a cent for me, apart from abusing me.”
Murinye said on Tuesday night at around 10pm, she heard him shouting “Bye Bye Tendai” outside her parents’ home, where she was now staying.
He also sent a suicidal SMS message, seen by NewsDay, on her phone at around the same time.
The couple had a six-year-old son.