From hero to zero

HARARE - They bask in the glory of fame and riches, but it is love which often becomes their Achilles’ heel.

From hero to zero, most celebrities, rich business and powerful politicians successfully ride the tide but usually fall to the sword of love, often moving from glory to gory — all in the name of love.

Munyaradzi Milimo is one such celebrity.

Accused of kidnapping and poisoning to death a man he suspected of bedding his wife, Milimo’s case reads like a Hollywood script.

A hip 32-year-old radio and club DJ, Milimo’s swag — a mix of genius and ego — has ultimately led to self-destruction.

He is sitting in a jail cell now, facing kidnapping and murder charges after he was arrested following the disappearance and subsequent death of Ortneal Tinashe Magorimbo, whom he accused of having a secret love affair with his wife.

DJ Munya and his suspected accomplices — Taurai Janhi, 34 and Mohammed Matare, 31 are currently in remand prison, waiting for trial on kidnapping and murder charges.

The popular announcer is alleged to have demanded $5 000 in adultery damages from Magorimbo after discovering the man was having a secret affair with his wife in February this year.

It is alleged that Milimo approached his wife’s lover in a bid to be compensated for the adulterous affair.

Allegations are that Magorimbo made a part payment of $1 000 through Janhi and Matare, leaving a balance which was to be paid in instalments but since the initial payment he became evasive.

Magorimbo later went missing before returning to his flat on May 18, where his wife discovered him naked with both hands tied with a rope.

A day after being admitted into West End’s intensive care unit, Magorimbo died and results from a post mortem conducted on May 21 revealed that death was due to poisoning.

DJ Munya’s case is not isolated. It is one of many cases involving high profile people who simply do not seem able to control their love lives.

From politicians and athletes to broadcasters, they have been caught in the love “scandals”.

Some, like Learnmore Jongwe, were typical rags to riches stories.

Coming from a humble background, Jongwe — through grit, intelligence and ambition — rose to become a high profile politician and many believed he was a future president of the country.

But he lost it all in the heat of the moment.

At 28, Jongwe who was the first spokesperson for the Zimbabwean Movement for Democratic Change Party and Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana had leaped to greater heights.

But, the honeymoon was short-lived following his arrest and incarceration in July 2002 on allegations of murdering his wife Rutendo Muusha after finding her having sex with another man.

He said the stabbing took place at their home in Harare but he denied intending to kill his wife of 11 months. He went on the run for two days before giving himself up to police.

Jongwe later died in prison in October of the same year.

The youthful politician’s story is one but not the least of love-related murders.

In 2011, another Zimbabwean, South African-based politician Justin Chiota — founder president of the Zimbabwe People’s Party (ZPP), allegedly killed his wife before committing suicide.

Chiota reportedly killed his estranged wife as she arrived at their marital home with police, to serve him with a protection order.

Some years back a controversial Harare businessman, former wrestler and actor Oliver Tengende once faced allegations of killing his wife who died in a case of suspected poisoning.

Tengende later committed suicide in the middle of the night at a church in Mufakose minutes after gunning down his late girlfriend’s relatives.

As the years progressed, another glaring example of famous people who went on to be charged with murder was still to manifest itself in the form of Globe Trotter Motel owner, Dickson Kokwani Sabau.

Sabau was accused of shooting to death his wife Charity Mukarati Sabau at the Motel in 2008.

While the situation has been gripping the country, closer home, the case of popular Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius grabbed world headlines, after he allegedly shot to death his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp over infidelity allegations.

Pistorius who is yet to stand trial on murder charges allegedly shot Steenkamp during this year’s wee hours of Valentine’s Day. - Tendai Kamhungira

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