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Man hangs at in-laws home after lobola dispute

Correspondent
A man in Zimbabwe's Mwenezi area has committed suicide at his in-laws’ homestead after being told he could not take away his wife until lobola was paid in full, police have confirmed the incident.

Boniface Mapare, 23, of village 2 Ngomati range in Mwenezi hanged himself outside a hut where his wife was sleeping during the night and was only discovered the following morning. The couple were previously living together up until the wife, Alista Shangwani (18) went to work in South Africa. Upon return where she had amassed South African Rands, her parents demanded that she moved back with them up until lobola was full paid.

Police spokesman for Masvingo province Inspector Tinaye Matake
said police were called in and removed Mapare's body from the scene.

“It is true that we received a report of that nature where a man
hanged himself at his in-laws’ homestead after they disagreed on the
amount of lobola to be paid before they allowed him to get back his
wife. He hanged himself on the outside pole of the hut where his wife
had been sleeping and was only discovered in the morning,” said
Inspector Matake.

Sources however, said the two were living together as husband and wife went to South Africa leaving behind Mapare at the height of the country’s economic depression.
When she returned from South Africa where she had been working
her husband started accusing her of infidelity saying she had been
cheating on him when she was working in South Africa.

The tension over the wife’s alleged infidelity resulted in her leaving the matrimonial home and went back to his parents’ home on the 27th of January this year.

On the 7th of February, Mapare followed his wife at the in-laws’ house
where upon arrival he was told to pay lobola before the in-laws
allowed him to take home his wife. The lobola however, the sources
said was all too much that he could not afford it one-off.

“The two have been living together as husband and wife until the wife moved to South Africa, when she came back Mapare accused her of infidelity and that misunderstanding led to the wife going back to her parents. I am not aware as of how much he was asked to pay but I believe it was too much that Mapare saw it as just tantamount to being denied access to his wife,” a source said.

He is said to have pleaded with his in-laws that they give him hiswife as he look for the lobola but they were adamant.

Mapare left the in-laws’ home and went.

In the evening he came back and hanged himself on the outside pole of the house where his wife had been sleeping.

His wife discovered him in the morning and a report was made to the
police in Mwenezi who attended the scene and took the body to Neshuro hospital mortuary where it is waiting a postmortem. Inspector Matake urged people to seek counseling rather than resorting to taking their own lives in the event of such misunderstandings.