Woman’s family pays 23 cattle after husband slaughter by cheating wife

Mavis Madenga who killed and burnt her husband

Mavis Madenga who killed and burnt her husband- (Pictures by Walter Mswazi)

From Walter Mswazie in Masvingo
THE family of a Masvingo woman who allegedly fatally struck her husband with an axe and burnt his body beyond recognition has paid 13 out of an agreed 23 head of cattle to compensate the bereaved family.

Mavis Madenga (33) of Madenga Village under Chief Mugabe admitted to killing Joseph Marisa (40) on Saturday around 3AM.  Mavis allegedly told investigators that she committed the crime because she could not bear his silence after he discovered she was cheating.

“He should have at least shouted at me,” she allegedly said.

The couple had allegedly argued after Madenga admitted to a prophet at Saint John Apostolic Sect Church that she had slept with six men outside her marriage.

After realising she had killed her husband, Mavis allegedly evacuated the couple’s six children from the hut and set it on fire.

The Chronicle visited Madenga Village yesterday where Marisa was buried.

Mavis’s uncle and village head Mr Simon Madenga (56) said his family shouldered the blame for Marisa’s death and had agreed to compensate their in-laws.

Simon Madenga

Simon Madenga

“Our son-in-law was a nice, polite person and out of our eight sons-in-law, Marisa was the best. Our daughter is an adulterous woman and she is responsible for Marisa’s death hence we are paying 23 beasts as compensation,” said Simon.

He said the Madenga family has paid 13 beasts upfront with the animals ready for collection and the balance of 10 to be paid within three months.

The late Joseph Marisa

The late Joseph Marisa

The compensation, the village head said, was a mutual agreement born out of love so that the two families could co-exist in harmony after the tragedy.

Marisa’s uncle, Mr Mapope Chisvo, said although life is invaluable, the two families reached an agreement over compensation issues and hailed Madenga’s family for being cooperative.

“The two families have reached a consensus and signed an affidavit without any problem and I’m sure the Madenga family will clear the balance of 10 cattle within the stipulated period. Joseph died a very painful death, struck with an axe thrice before his body was set on fire, it’s very painful. Mourners could not do body viewing as the inferno only left pieces of flesh and bones,” said Mr Chisvo.


Grief-stricken relatives fainted while others rolled on the ground as they struggled to come to terms with the untimely tragedy.

It emerged that the couple were on separation but Mavis had returned three days before the tragedy to look after their six-children as Marisa was away attending a family meeting in Kwekwe.

Late Joseph Marisa's grave

Late Joseph Marisa’s grave

Simon said he had presided over the couple’s separation, which he said was triggered by Mavis’ infidelity.

Mr Elias Madenga- Mavis’ brother said he was aware of the couple’s marital problems.

He described his sister as a woman who did not respect her marriage.

“Marisa was like a brother as we grew up together. Before he married my sister we shared secrets including those of our girlfriends,” said Elias.

“Mavis was not a straight-forward woman. She was accused of engaging in extra-marital affairs and my friend used to always worry especially when he was away from home.”

The bed on which he was burnt by his wife

The bed on which he was burnt by his wife

“He had nicer looking women that he dated before Mavis. If Joseph’s family had decided to bar our family from this funeral wake, I think they were not going to succeed in barring me because I knew Joseph more than some of his family members did. Mavis, my sister, what have you done to my friend?” said Elias bursting into tears.

Mavis allegedly called in the neighbours after her husband’s body had been consumed by the fire.


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  • Mkhokheli

    Very sad. The late was a very humble man who loved his family to death. It’s unfortunate that the woman’s family is now having to go through all this struggle of paying for her sins. I thank God for these two families, they are a true symbol of humanity. Now the question is how many men are suffering in silence like the late and nobody is making mention of it?

    • wisdom crieth

      Ya….it remains unknown………….

  • Shepherd Nyamhuno

    The prophets exposed this woman and all led to this. One can clearly see that such prophets are servants of Lucifer. (John 2:25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.), yet he never exposed people unnecesarily. Look at that has led, why didnt the prophets foresee the results of their own actions, the death of an innocent man and such a tragedy that drags the whole family to pay such a fine. Where are prophets….

    • xaba

      after the prophet told them the prophecy they were supposed to continue attending church and receiving assistance untill they overcame the problem. Some of these problems do not just disappear it could be a demon that attacked their union

    • Mutasawaka

      All prophets of God, just like Balaam(Numbers 22vs38), only speak as commanded by God. I’m surprised you condemn the Prophet instead of the Evildoer. And the evil woman did not dispute the prophecy so there is nothing wrong that the prophet did. Stay away from sin if you don’t want to be expossed.

    • s

      That’s the difference between true prophets and doubtful one. the prophecies good or bad should lead to repentance not divorce death etc. the prophecies should all lead to GOD through Christ

  • xhiba

    Is this matter before the courts or it will be resolved in the village court, what is happening

    • Sikhulu

      Obvious Marvis is in custody waiting for her life judgement. This is a development by both families who want this matter to be solved quickly and in an amicable manner.

  • zikhali

    maybe madenga needs to checked by doctors in case she has a mental illness

    • Mhofu Yemukono

      I think so too

  • Bhelingwe Via Yorks and Phoeni

    Ngathi uphethwe isagweba loMatenga wakhona. Akafebi, uthela amanzi.

  • mathe

    Its good that the family elders have taken up the issue to create peace amongst the two families

  • dax


  • koka

    the lady will be freed. you cannot be punished twice for the same offence. once compensation is paid in full they should let her go free. this culture of extortion is sickening.

    • Mart

      Murder and rape are statutory cases i.e accused versus government. No amount of compensation will exonerate the offender. She should rote in jail and do her sexual affairs there.

      • koka

        Do you remember the story of a rugby player who killed a policeman in SA? He paid about R700k and walked.

        • Smoothy1

          As Mart is correctly saying, in statutory cases even if complainant withdraws the case it doesn’t work. It’s accused vs state.

        • Mart

          True but that’s wrong.

    • Volcanic Eruption

      You are sick!

    • Kitten Mews

      My friend, there’s is what is known as Ngozi, (avenging spirit)it comes after the perpetrator’s lineage. Whether the killer goes to prison or not without the cattle payment, your entire lineage will be decimated. Period.

    • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

      The compensation will only mitigate the sentence. However in this case the compensation is not coming from the murderer but he family and for a selfish reason too (avoiding ngozi).

      • Legal Eagle

        I don’t agree with you on the mitigating. When you kill some one the court case is you vs the state. That compensation should not affect the outcome of a guilty verdict and sentence. I agree however about it coming from the family although I would not say for selfish reasons but rather to try to avoid revenge and to show their disapproval at what their relative did.

  • malila

    may be thats how it should be, if one murders a person he pays 23 heads of cattle on top of the sentence

    • sibangilizwe

      how many cows does one pay after killing 20 000 innocent civilians?

  • makhurane

    are these beasts topped out of sentence or its just them alone

  • xaba

    the old man has done the right thing before ngozi strikes