“MAYBE I was destined to live a life like Job in the Bible, to have nothing and suffer . . . I had to humble myself to my son as if I was his child.”
These are the heartrending words of Mrs Molly Nyamakawo of Queens Park East suburb in Bulawayo after her only son, the first-born Trevor burnt down the family home in a fit of rage that she is yet to comprehend. Trevor (29) was about to spend his second day at the home after having arrived from South Africa aboard omalayitsha (cross-border transporters) who demanded payment as he had come as a “pay forward” when he burnt down the house.
“My son came from South Africa two days ago, because of the Covid-19-induced lockdowns he was struggling and I was sending him money almost every month for rentals and food. He had spent two years there. He just decided to come back and I told him to hold on a bit and wait for the situation to improve because things were equally tough this side.
He insisted on coming back to stay in his father’s home. Their father died in 2012 and I had been raising them single handedly. We then had an argument and my other daughter told him not to stress me as I was struggling all along to take care of them. She also encouraged him to wait a little and he refused,” said Mrs Nyamakawo.
She said she refused to sponsor his return home as she said he was a problem child.
“He had been a nuisance all along, I have been living a miserable life because of him. So, he got an omalayitsha to come back to Zimbabwe, they called me and said they were bringing him and I needed to pay for the journey and I refused arguing that I had not agreed with them. I also had no money too after having sent him some recently.”
She went on:
“I told the transporters that they could not do their business that way without any agreements. They then dropped him off in Pretoria as I had refused to pay. He got hold of certain pastors from the Bushiri Church and they paid some money to a different omalayitsha and when he arrived at the gate, he was short of R200 which he demanded I pay and I had to borrow US$10 from my tenant and I added the only R20 that I had although it was not enough. The man understood and he was dropped off.”
Mrs Nyamakawo said all seemed well on the first day.
“We had our supper. He was narrating how things were in South Africa and the challenges he encountered there. The following morning, he started behaving strangely, smoking dagga in the house and I reprimanded him as we have a baby in the house. He started chasing us away saying it was his father’s home and had all rights to stay there. I told him we must live in harmony as we are family and address all challenges we have,” she said.
Mrs Nyamakawo said she decided to end the conversation as he is a person of violent nature. In the evening he started banging things in the home destroying property and she went and made a police report.
“I was told to go back home as it was now in the curfew hours and told to come the following day. We locked ourselves in our rooms together with the tenants for our safety. We only slept at 3am as he was destroying property. I returned to the police the next morning,” she said.
She said she went home in the company of a police officer and he rendered no assistance and two more policemen were dispatched.
“Trevor started chasing people away from the house saying he wanted to live with me alone, he had indicated that he wanted to kill me. After we came from the police we got home to find a red flag at the gate symbolising a bereavement. He had locked himself in the house.
The cops then started exchanging words with him and they dared him to do what he wished and Trevor said he wanted to burn the house and they said he must burn it. We were outside the gate. I think he opened the gas cylinder and lit a match. He climbed on top of the roof and was exchanging words with the police. They barred anyone from entering the yard to try and catch him and to also save some of the property, at that time only the kitchen was burning,” she said.
Mrs Nyamakawo claimed the police refused to arrest him saying he had a knife and they were scared.
“They did not do anything and the whole house burnt while we were watching. Trevor jumped into the neighbour’s yard and ran away.
He returned at night and slept in the fowl run. So, I have been trying to contact the police officers assigned to the case but they have turned a blind eye to the matter, they have stopped answering my calls too. So, I don’t know who will protect us if they cannot speak to us, Trevor comes here at night but no effort is being made to catch him and we are scared for our lives because he is dangerous and can come back for us,” she said.
In 2018, Trevor attacked his mother severely and was arrested and taken to Bulawayo Prison but was released a week later.
Mrs Nyamakawo said she does not know what became of the case.
“I have had problems with him since his father died. I had to humble myself as if I am his child, unfortunately many people never believed my stories when I told them as he was a nice guy to other people. However, our neighbours witnessed many of his shenanigans and they are aware of his behaviour.”
This made all his friends distance themselves from him because he was a problem, she said. Neighbours who assisted to clean the house instructed Mrs Nyamakawo to leave as soon as they had finished fearing that Trevor would return and harm her in their absence.
The family which is composed of the mother, two daughters and a two-year-old girl child is currently in need of food, clothing, blankets, sanitary ware, toiletries and any other help as all their belongings were burnt. Contact details for Mrs Nyamakawo are 0773675588.