A Chipinge pirate taxi driver last week Friday sprinkled some petrol on his ex-girlfriend’s cottage and burnt her and their daughter to death in a crime of passion that has shocked the farming town.
Bright Tawanda Majecha (26) has since been arrested in connection with the murder of Ms Paidamoyo Madondo and her four-year-old daughter, Tawananyasha Majecha, of Gaza E suburb, Chipinge.
Majecha is reported to have attempted to burn Ms Madondo and his daughter on three different occasions prior to last week’s incident.
Tawananyasha was burnt beyond recognition, while Ms Madondo died at Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital on Saturday after being transferred from Chipinge District Hospital.
Ms Madondo’s brother, Blessing Madondo, who was also sleeping in the same cottage, managed to escape through the roof.
He is battling for his life at Chipinge District Hospital after being severely burnt.
Initially, Majecha was charged with a single count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, but the charges were altered following Ms Madondo’s death.
Majecha is now facing two charges of murder, as well as attempted murder charges.
Last week on Saturday, Majecha appeared before Chipinge magistrate, Mrs Catherine Dzivanyika and was remanded in custody to today (Friday) for routine remand.
Prosecuting, Ms Pamela Mufudza said on November 17, around midnight, Majecha went to Ms Madondo’s cottage in Gaza E and demanded to see his daughter, Tawananyasha.
“Ms Madondo refused to open the door, saying it was late. After about two hours, Ms Madondo who was sleeping on a reed mat saw flames under the table. The fire spread all over the house. Ms Madondo and her brother, Blessing, tried to escape, but she failed.
“Ms Madondo managed to open the door, but the floor was slippery and she fell down while holding her daughter. Her daughter was burnt beyond recognition. Blessing managed to break the roof and escaped before shouting for help from neighbours,” said Mrs Mufudza.
Narrating what transpired, witnesses said Majecha tried to burn his ex-girlfriend on three different occasions, before he finally committed the heinous act early Friday morning.
Ms Madondo’s uncle, Mr Gift Madondo said his niece and Blessing were staying together following the death of their mother.
“We are saddened by Paidamoyo’s painful death. She was working hard to take care of her daughter and her brother, Blessing. Paidamoyo was the family’s breadwinner following the death of her mother a few years ago. Majecha had abandoned his daughter and we don’t know what got into him to commit this heinous crime,” he said.
Mr Madondo added: “Paidamoyo and Majecha once cohabitated and they were blessed with a child. They separated and Paidamoyo was now staying with her brother.
“We gathered that Majecha had been told by someone that his ex-girlfriend was staying with her new boyfriend. I think that is what angered him.
“Before the incident, Majecha visited Paidamoyo’s cottage on three different occasions. He would demand that she open the door, but she would refuse. As a family, we hope justice will prevail,” said Mr Madondo.
A neighbour, Mr Never Dhliwayo who was one of the first people to arrive at the scene said it was heart wrenching to see a young soul being burnt to death.
“The incident happened around 1am on Friday morning. Majecha visited Paidamoyo’s cottage with a five-litre container filled with petrol. He sprinkled some of it on the building and poured some through the door and lit it. We arrived late after Paidamoyo’s brother called for help.
“Despite being badly injured, Paidamoyo fought hard to try and rescue her daughter. However, when we arrived, it was too late to save young Tawananyasha. As neighbours, we teamed up and managed to put out the fire,” said Mr Dhliwayo.
The Manica Post visited Blessing at Chipinge District Hospital on Tuesday but our news crew didn’t get a chance to interview him as he was still in a lot of pain.
However, hospital personnel said Blessing’s condition is improving.