Stop spouse-on-spouse killings

BY Augustine Phiri

If you are a husband and see your wife holding a knife when there is no goat, pig or a chicken foraging in your own compound, then just know my friend that you are about to be murdered.

At this crucial moment, you better start saying your last prayers asking the Almighty to send angels to prepare a room for you in his vast mansion, that is if you are in good books with Him.

Since you want to avoid receiving that painful stab and stay alive, you need to marshal your sixth sense, that is if you have one.

My suggestion is that you tell your wife, “Dear, in my tribe, it’s a serious taboo for a wife to hold a knife in front of her husband.”

If it does not work and she still is holding the blade in her hand, then the only thing for you to do is to feign diarrhoea, dash to the toilet and lock yourself inside.

But as you make the dash, do not forget to carry with you your mobile phone; it could link you to the Victim Support Unit and a rescue squad could com to your rescue.

I have observed with keen interest recent happenings in Zambia in which wives are turning to their husbands not to embrace them romantically but to stab them dead.

One moment, a woman successfully implements Sister D’s Vitendeni song and in the next moment another hubby is stabbed in the stomach allegedly by his wife and dies.

The next moment another wife is arrested for attempting to open the chest of her sweetheart husband.

But what is even more worrying is the silence from the women’s movement.

They kicked-off celebrations of their 16 Days of Activism against Violence on Women the other day with no mention about the siege on husbands by their spouses.

“Chiwamila galu kuluma mbuzi,” the women seem to be saying, meaning ‘it’s only normal for a dog to bite a goat and not otherwise.’

You see, what is happening in Zambia regarding the slaying of husbands by wives, who are supposedly their sweethearts, is not good.

As such, I order a stop to it or else men would petition government to cancel the Marriage Ordinance Act so that there would be no marriages in Zambia anymore and no husbands to kill.

In India, there is what is called Bride-Burning and according to that country’s National Crime Records Bureau, about 8,172 Bride-Burning related cases were registered in 2008 alone.

The practice is also rife in Pakistan and Bangladeshi where like in India and unlike in Zambia, it is the family of the Bride who pays dowry (bride price) to the family of the Groom.

This leads to husbands resorting to dousing their wives with kerosene or petrol and set them ablaze in order for them to re-marry and acquire more wealth from the new in-laws.

Although the paying and receiving of dowry in India is forbidden under the 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act which imposes a minimum of two years in jail for offenders, the practice continues.

Surprisingly, instead of shooting, stabbing or drowning their wives in the lake or the ocean, Indian men prefer burning their spouses and later play innocence and say ‘she committed suicide’ or ‘it’s just an accident.’

In some cases, Indian wives have taken their own lives to escape domestic violence inflicted on them by their abusive husbands.

There are, however, varying reasons why some wives choose to end the lives of their husbands.

A story is doing the rounds in Lusaka of a policeman on patrol who radios his boss on his roja-roja communication piece.

“I have an interesting case here Mwami,” he says. “A woman has stabbed her husband to death for stepping on the floor she had just mopped.”

“Have you arrested her?” asks the sergeant boss at the other end of the roja-roja. “No, not yet Mwami. The floor is still wet,” the patrol man replies.

However, Zambia is not alone in this situation and there are several documented cases of wives murdering husbands worldwide some of them in the most gruesome manner.

Australian housewife Katherine Knight stabbed her husband, John Price 37 times in 2001 with a butcher’s knife then skinned him and hanged his body with a meat hook in their lounge room.

Mrs Knight is said to have cooked some body parts of her dead husband and attempted to feed their children when the police pounced and arrested her.

An angry Chinese housewife in Xiaoxian known only as Dr Li sliced off the testicles of her husband, Huang Li while he was sleeping.

Reports say Dr Li, a gynaecologist, had asked her husband for a divorce but he refused and this angered her into chopping his private parts.

Russian Katya Kharitovonova bit off her husband’s manhood after waking up one morning to find him in a clinch with her best friend.

The Russian couple had gone for a walk that afternoon when they met Katya’s friend, Liz Dimitriyeva, and invited her home for supper.

After eating they settled down to watch movies but Katya, the lady of the house, fell asleep and woke up after half an hour later only to find her husband, Mikhail, 40, half naked and her best friend performing a sex act on him.

This sent Katya into a frenzy and in the process, bit and cut off Mikhail’s manhood with her own teeth.

Betty Low is dubbed the serial husband killer who lost her hearing at the age of three to measles and attempted to commit suicide at the age of 16.

An alcoholic who drank to chase away her loneliness, she married multiple times. She ran over one husband with a car but failed to kill him. She shot and killed her fifth husband Doyce Wayne Barker in 1981in order to gain full ownership of their Caravan home in Barrel City in Texas in the United States.

She remarried and murdered her sixth husband, Jimmy Don Beets in 1983 for his insurance money and pension benefits. She is said to have buried both men in her own backyard.

During a long, lazy afternoon of drinking in July 2013, Karra Trichele Allen of Llano also in Texas, sent text messages to her friends that she wanted to kill her husband, Brian Allen, “feed him to the dogs,” and “laugh all the way to the bank.”

She also sent another text message to Brian who was not at home at the time telling him that she hoped he would die in a car accident before he got home.

Karra shot him when he arrived back home and then she bravely dialled the police free toll 911 and told her dying husband that he was a piece of shit and would die “knowing that.”

The list of wives killing their husbands in various parts of the world is endless but for now, these examples are enough.

Equally, incidents of husbands murdering their wives are many but this is not the subject for this write-up.

Deliberately, court verdicts in the cases just alluded to have been omitted because there are similar cases before our own courts. Who would want to be cited for contempt of court when Christmas is nearing?

Let us do something and let God save us from domestic violence.

kapenyatheobserver@yahoo.com

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