The tweets, Whatsapp, Tik Tok and Instagram messages talking about the death of Samantha Dzapata and Tafadzwa Murengwa have faded and most people have moved on with their lives.
It is now close to three weeks following the tragic death of Harare lovebirds Murengwa and Dzapata.
Dzapata was shot dead by Murengwa, who later committed suicide the following day.
While the sad and shocking event is fast fading in many people’s minds, probably being overtaken by events, the same cannot be said for members of their families, including neighbours and friends.
Last Thursday, The Sunday Mail Society visited the late Murengwa’s rural home in Guruve.
Waiting in vain
This is where Murengwa, who had a strong bond with his paternal grandmother, Gogo Grace Marumahoko, grew up.
As we parked our car, Gogo Marumahoko, ushered us into their home.
Close relatives were still gathered at the homestead, a practice not unusual in our traditional custom.
However, their prolonged stay has been prompted by ‘unusual’ circumstances − they have a huge task ahead of them.
It is a waiting game, constantly checking phones for a call or text message. The calls and texts are not coming.
“We could not leave after the burial. We are waiting for Samantha’s family to contact us for the way forward,” revealed Murengwa’s aunt, Bertha Gombedza.
“They had indicated that they would call after the holiday (Heroes Day and Defence Forces) but they are yet to.”
Contrary to reports circulating on social media, Dzapata’s family is yet to meet or demand anything from the Murengwas.
Murengwa’s family is eagerly waiting for the engagement and said are ready to meet whatever demands will be made.
Despite living large in the city, Murengwa remained close to his grandmother, who described him as a soft, obedient and hardworking young man. Being so close to Murengwa, Gogo Marumahoko knew him too well.
She said Dzapata was introduced to her in Guruve last year.
According to the love birds, it had been four years since they started dating. After the introductions, they frequently visited together while Dzapata would even call to check up on Gogo Marumahoko.
“He did not have many friends and nor was he a playboy. Samantha was the first one, to us,” Gogo Marumahoko recalled.
“He always called or came by to check up on me, made sure I had airtime and bought me gifts . . . he loved me that much, I am wounded,” she said.
She revealed that she had noticed the ‘lovebird’s’ relationship had soured.
“However, at some point, she went quiet for some days. I decided to call her and surprisingly I heard a voice of a man talking in the background . . . I could tell that it was not Murengwa.
“Since then, I had my reservations about her, but I did not say anything to him because he was prepared to marry anytime,” she said.
Red flags, counselling
Gogo Marumahoko said signs of imminent tragedy started showing when the couples relationship turned violent. And she regrets not doing much to help Murengwa.
“He called and told me everything the day he beat her; it was unlike him. Growing up he was neither violent nor did he have temper problems.
“I had to counsel him because he was freaking out. In turn he apologised to me for what he had done and asked me to call his girlfriend on his behalf.”
Days later, Gogo Marumahoko called Dzapata to hear what had happened.
“She laughed the incident off saying ‘it was nothing serious’ and that she had forgiven him.
“However, he insisted that she was lying and that the two had actually broken up,” she added.
This prompted her to advise the two to come to Guruve for counselling, but they did not show up.
Since Dzapata was known in the family, her break-up with Murengwa worried relatives.
Following his break-up with Dzapata, Murengwa’s relatives convened a meeting at his uncle’s place in Chishawasha as they tried to counsel and advise him to move on.
Sadly, the meeting did not help.
In the days to follow, they heard social media messages of Murengwa confessing to shooting Dzapata.
As they were still trying to figure out his location, they also got a phone call from the police informing them that he had committed suicide.
A village sweetheart
In the village, Murengwa was described as a disciplined community sweetheart and hardworking young man, who loved herding cattle.
He was also an inspiration to the youth who hoped to leave the village one day and make it large in the city.
The dealer was in fact a role model that many expected to make headlines through growing his hustle.
Sadly, he ended up headlining news for wrong reasons.
His gruesome and tragic end shocked many and those he grew up around are still in disbelief.
“He was a role model, he neither forgot his roots nor did he lose morals even as he became ‘rich’ and we all envied him,” recalls Matthew, a villager.
Born third in a family of four, Boss Pango, as he was affectionately known around the busy Ximex area, attended Mvurwi Primary and Mazowe High Schools.
After graduating from Bindura University, he moved to Harare where he got into his cell phone and car dealership business.
Murengwa’s family wants closure. They hope to get more information of where exactly his death took place.
Similarly, they say they do not know the owner of the house where his body was found.
“The day he died, his father was here with me. One of his uncles came at 4 am to pick us. We both suffer from hypertension and they did not break the news until we got to his uncle’s place.
“What hurts most is that we did not get proper details around his death. We do not know whose compound he died in and whether it happened in the car or at the hospital. We are confused,” said the visibly shaken Gogo Marumahoko.
She also cleared the air around the supposed suicide note and juju (kuromba) claims.
The message, she said, which was being circulated about him instructing them to get stuff from his car and under the bed, are all lies or rather social media creations.
Murengwa, an Apostolic Faith Mission protocols member, was mourned and buried under church protocols and rites.
However, his coffin was never placed inside the house.
According to the family, it is what tradition demands when one dies by his own hand.
“We watched him work his way up. As he acquired more money, his character never changed and I refuse to believe akaromba,” she added.
“I often visited Harare and everyday he would leave early in the morning and return late after dusk; he was a hard worker.”
Fight from grave
However, the family is counter-blaming Dzapata for misleading their son.
They reckon she should have cut ties and declined Murengwa’s gifts when she fell out of love.
“If she had been honest, we would not have been in this mess. We will not demand his belongings but they should simply do the right thing and hand the things over . . . Murengwa will fight from the grave because we also feel he was wronged,” she added.
Gogo Marumahoko added: “He died for his belongings, it is not for us to fight on his behalf so we will simply do what is right for Dzapata’s family (appease) and leave the rest to him, he will fight if he wants to.”
She said they failed to attend Dzapata’s funeral as they were also mourning Murengwa.
“After the funeral, we reached out to her family so that we can pay our condolences, talk about what happened and what needs to be done. We are aware that in such cases, a lot of tradition needs to take place.”
She was, however, quick to also add that her family was equally bitter.
“Had Samantha simply returned Murengwa’s items and money all this would have not happened, he should fight from the grave,” said Marumahoko.
Murengwa’s friend Marlon Nyanyiwa said the two started working together in 2017.
This was soon after Murengwa’s graduation from Bindura University.
With a few gadgets to kickstart his business, Nyanyiwa notes he admired Murengwa’s work ethic.
“He was goal-oriented and would even risk to invest the little he got into other ventures. We recorded profits and losses together along the way. In 2020, a breakthrough came and Murengwa branched into car dealership.
“To say he rose because of juju is not true because I was with him along the way,” said Nyanyiwa.
He also gave an insight into the Murengwa and Dzapata’s relationship.
“I knew Samantha, he loved her. Whenever she was around they spent most of their time together . . . he would spoil her a lot and was ready to settle. I do not know how things turned sour,” he said.
Nyanyiwa revealed that he noticed something was amiss the day his friend splashed money around Ximex.
Prior to the incident, Murengwa had sent a ‘weird’ message to his friends which got Nyanyiwa even more disturbed.
Although he talked to him, Murengwa tricked him into believing that he was alright.
However, his sixth sense still convinced him something bad was about to happen.
“I was not at ease the following day. He sent me a message saying he had murdered Samantha and that he was fleeing the country . . . I tried to talk him out of it,” he recalls.
“He had become suicidal so I wanted him to at least get arrested instead of committing suicide, but he would not disclose his exact location. Maybe I would have gotten there in time.”
Nyanyiwa was also not aware that his friend had a rifle.
However, he feels Dzapata misled Murengwa and that her relatives should have declined his gifts as the relationship had turned sour.
Repeated efforts to contact Dzapata’s family were futile. Questions were referred to her unnamed friend, who kept shifting appointments.
“I am at work, let us get in touch after 3pm and meet,” said the friend before later rescheduling to after 5pm.
However, later her phone went unanswered. She then sent a text message, again rescheduling the meeting.
Close sources revealed that Dzapata’s family was against the two’s friendship. They also blame the friend for the way things turned out.
— Sunday Mail