Crimes of passion on the increase

By Abigirl Tembo

The issue of drug abuse and societal definitions of masculinity have been cited as the major cause of crimes of passion which saw a Harare dealer killing his girlfriend before committing suicide at the weekend.

The tragic demise of Samantha Dzapata of Harare, who was shot dead by her boyfriend, Tafadzwa Murengwa on allegations of cheating has sparked debate on social media with accusations and counter accusations on who is to blame.

However, what remains a fact is that crimes of passion are on the increase with the latest case being a tip of the iceberg after similar cases were recorded this year.

“The challenge that we have with passion killings is the way that we have been raised by society. The society has raised us to believe that as men we are powerful, as men we are in charge and as men we can have a lot of girlfriends, but now things have changed,” a young Harare male resident commented.

Said another, “It is all about toxic masculinity so when it happens that your wife or girlfriend cheats on you or any female wrongs you, you can’t let it go because that’s how we were raised.”

Another added, “We now need to accept that men also have feelings. And to the ladies, please don’t lead us on. If you don’t love us please don’t accept our gifts.”

A young lady blamed men, “Men should accept rejection and not resort to violence if I no longer love you. This passion killings – men are to blame.”

“To our brothers, we appeal them not to get violent there are a lot of girls around. You can always pick yourself up,” said another young lady.

“When it comes to Boss Pango, I blame drugs. The boy was now abusing drugs – that’s why he could not think rationally,” said another Harare resident.

Padare Enkudhleni Director, Mr Walter Vengesai strongly condemned the rampant crimes of passion, calling on men to seek help instead of resorting to violence.

“I think we have a problem of how men think when it comes to issues to do with conflict resolution. We should do more as a society to engage men around those issues so that they only don’t have violence as a way of solving their issues. Societal definitions of masculinity revolve mostly around not showing emotion, showing that you are tough, resolving your issues using your fists, using violence and that should definitely change,” he said.

“We should model masculinity in a positive way so that as young boys are growing up they should show more positive masculinity and less of the negative masculinities. We need to challenge the societal views of masculinity and start to rebuild or redefine masculinity in a way that is more peaceful and less violent.”

Two young lives prematurely ended and now what is left is the blame game and the questions…. couldn’t this have been avoided?