Grandpa inmate nursing a tormented soul

Even at the age of 70, Arshid Kazunga is a restless man.

His soul is tormented.

He constantly scratches his unkempt grey hair while aimlessly staring in space, as if he is somehow waiting for a solution to his woes to fall from the skies.

In 2015, he was sentenced to 20 years at Chikurubi Maximum Prison for a crime of passion that is unexpected for a man of his age – murdering his fourth wife.

But doing time is the least of his worries and reason for his sleepless nights.

“If I am lucky to walk out of this place alive, I will be 87-years-old,” he says as he uses his pale, old, shaky fingers to gesture for emphasis.

“However, I have accepted that I might die in here.

“What gives me sleepless nights is the blood on my hands.

“I am afraid of avenging spirits.

“The spirits might not affect me since I do not have many years left to live, but I have children. I do not want them to be punished for my sins.

“My wish is to settle this matter with my in-laws before I die.

“However, I am stuck in this place for many years, how will I do that?” Kazunga says.

As a sworn polygamist, his family had readily accepted his life choices.

In 1997, when he was 28-years-old, Kazunga married his first wife and sired five children.

Sixteen years later, he married his second wife and the couple also had five children.

A third wife was added to the ever-expanding family in 2000, but unfortunately, she died after two years.

It was, however, his marriage to a fourth wife, Juliet Kembo, in 2006 that turned his life topsy-turvy.

The fated union only lasted nine years.

Life-changing Twist

The Chikurubi inmate, who professes to be a hard worker that always provided for his expansive brood, forever rues that fateful day in 2015.

In fact, he is still locked in a time capsule.

The former Mount Darwin-based Kazunga reportedly dutifully visited his first wife in Guruve for a few days.

After making an unannounced return to his Mt Darwin home, which he shared with Juliet, he made a painful discovery that any man dreads – he walked in on his wife being intimate with an unidentified man on their matrimonial bed.

An altercation, which heatedly degenerated into a fist fight, ensued, but Kazunga was overpowered by his rival suitor, who subsequently made good his escape.

Kazunga – who had suffered a double whammy of being humiliated and thumped – succumbed to his bruised ego.

In an inexplicable moment of deranged rage, he then stabbed his wife twice on the neck, killing her instantly.

When he came to himself, Kazunga fled and sought refuge at his daughter and son-in-law’s house.

The latter alerted the police of the heinous crime, leading to Kazunga’s arrest.

“I loved Juliet, to tell you the truth,” he said during the interview.

“I remember I had paid ZW$1,4 trillion as a lobola, and although we never had children together, I loved her so much.

“The moment I saw her lying next to another man, I could not bear it, I got furious. She was mine.”

He reckons if he could turn back the hands of time, he would not harm his beloved Juliet.

“Although I loved her, it was not worth it,” he added.

“I should have just let her go with her lover. I am sure by now I would have forgotten about her and moved on with my life.

“I am now an old man, in prison, with no family and with a dead woman’s spirit hanging above my head for the rest of my life.

“My life should serve as lesson to all men out there. If you ever find your wife or partner with another man, let her go. Do not kill her. Do not try to teach her a lesson, just let her go.”

Final Wish

Kazunga’s final wish is to meet with his family, especially his in-laws.

“I rarely get visits from my family. The last time I got a visit was from my daughter in 2017,” he said softly.

“I am appealing to my family and in-laws to visit me so that we can settle the matter before I die. I have a few beasts that I can give them as compensation.

“I think this is one thing that will ease my mind and help me find rest even in death.”

With his hands folded behind his back, he lowly hangs his head and drags his feet back to his cell.

He looks up the huge thick walls that surround him, probably praying for his loved one beyond to come and help lift the burden he carries.