Andile Tshuma, Chronicle reporter
A BULAWAYO woman allegedly severely scalded her husband with boiling water, peeling most of the skin from his body, in a fit of rage after he forgot to pick her from church.
Mr Davies Chitagu had an altercation with his wife, Ms Alice Chigwida, over why he had come home late and failed to pick her from St Mary’s Cathedral last Sunday.
Ms Chigwida is said to have waited for Mr Chitagu to fall asleep before boiling water and pouring it all over his body.
Contacted for comment, Ms Chigwida acknowledged that she was Alice before making a U-turn and denying her name when she learnt that she was talking to the news crew.
“Hello, yes you are speaking to Alice. Oh I’m sorry I do not know what you are talking about. It’s not Alice. It must be a wrong number,” she said before hanging up.
A family member who declined to be identified for fear of victimisation said Ms Chigwida ignored her husband while he screamed in pain.
“When she feared that he would die on their matrimonial bed, she helped him into their car and went to dump him at a surgery in the city before telling his relatives that he was in hospital,” said the source.
A police report had to be made as Mr Chitagu could not be treated without a report.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident. “I can confirm that we are dealing with a case of domestic violence where a woman scalded her husband with boiling water following a domestic dispute. Further investigations into the matter are underway,” said Inspector Ncube. He urged the public to desist from violence in families as it dragged people apart and increased tensions.
Another relative, who also preferred anonymity, said he was relieved that Mr Chitagu had survived, but feared for his life as Ms Chigwida “was unpredictable.”
He said police seemed to be dragging their feet on the matter.
“My relative had boiling water poured on him while he was sleeping by his wife. His whole upper body and face have been badly scalded and he has serious burns.
“A report has been made to Donnington (Police Station) and to date the perpetrator has not been arrested. We as a family are frustrated and we fear for our brother’s safety as he is now back home and she is there,” said the relative
“We feel the police are dragging their feet and not responding appropriately. Male victims of gender based violence are never taken seriously. If this was reversed the community would be up in arms. This is attempted murder and there is nothing to justify what the wife has done. My brother has given his statement, a medical report has been issued and it states the seriousness of what has happened but still this woman is in the community. What is she going to do next?” asked the relative.
The relative said Mr Chitagu came home around 10PM last week and they had an argument about why he had not picked Ms Chigwida from church earlier that night.
The relative said after Ms Chigwida had poured boiling water on him, she initially refused to take him to hospital.
“He sustained serious burns to his upper body and limbs and face. He had difficulties breathing. He asked Alice to take her to the hospital as he was in excruciating pain. Initially she refused. She later took him to a private hospital and dumped him at the entrance and drove off,” said the relative.
He said Mr Chitagu had since been discharged from hospital although he still had bandages on over 50 percent of his body.
“Davies has since been discharged and is back at home now. He has difficulty in speaking. Nothing has been done to Alice and she is at the family home as we speak. We are concerned at the lack of or delayed police action in this matter. This is serious domestic violence. Alice has injured Davies. He will be physically and emotionally scarred for life. He is having panic attacks since the incident,” he said. — @andile_tshuma