In what could be one of the most gruesome scenarios of gender based violence and human rights violations, a Masvingo man from Chiwara Farm near Kyle Dam torched his wife’s HIV medication after he had brought his lover home before asking his wife to leave the house.
The accused who is 28 years old and could not be named to protect the victim’s identity has a record of abusing his wife often putting her health at risk as he has a habit of destroying her medication, was dragged before Masvingo magistrate Elizabeth Hanzie on April 2, 2024 facing charges of domestic violence and was remanded out of custody for continuation of trial.
The state heard that on January 20, the accused went to his girlfriend’s homestead, at around 1100 hours and took his girlfriend back home where his wife of nine years was sleeping in the bedroom.
He found her sleeping on the bed, pushed her outside of the house and locked the door. She tried to push the door but failed, as she cried standing outside with her husband telling her to go away saying she was disturbing him from having quality time with his lover.
After some minutes he opened the door and threatened his wife with an axe after which he returned to the bedroom, took her ARV tablets, hospital medication book, went to the kitchen hut where there was a fire and burnt them.
He then dragged his wife out of the yard and threatened to kill her if she came back.
The complainant reported the matter at New Start Centre in Masvingo on the same day where she wanted to get her medicine replacement and was advised to report to Nemamwa police station after which the accused was arrested.
The complainant said the incident was the third time that her husband burnt her medication after bringing a girlfriend home and had a habit of physically abusing her every day.
“This is not the first time that he has burnt my medication, it is actually the third time, every day he physically assaults me, sometimes when he comes home drunk he beats me for greeting him,” said the complainant.
She went on to say whenever her husband brought a girlfriend home he chases her away from her matrimonial bed and locks her outside of the house.
“When my husband comes home with his girlfriend, sometimes they will find me sleeping on the bed and he will shout at me, pushing me outside of the house while locking the door,” she said.
The complainant added that her husband took some of her property and gave it to his girlfriend including her cell phone.
“At one point he took my phone and gave it to his girlfriend and when ever she comes to my homestead she uses it to play music in my presence”, said the complainant.
The complainant also said they got married in 2015 and tested positive for HIV/ AIDS in 2018. She said her husband refused to get tested and is not on medication.