Category Archives: Entertainment

Stunner, Sulu take new albums to Nust Graduates Party

Muscians Sulumani Chimbetu and Stunner will tonight perform tracks from their new albums for the first time in Bulawayo at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust).

BY SINDISO DUBE |Newsday

The two artistes will headline the annual Nust graduation bash which will also feature Garry B, Templeman, Bulawayo’s female DJ Liz, Fire and United Kingdom-based King Alfred.

Stunner will perform songs from his latest album, If I Die Tonight, while Sulu will sample songs from his forthcoming album.

Stunner, a top rated hip-hop star recently who shared the stage with music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi last Saturday at the Castle Lager Biggest Braai, launched his album in August.

Stunner’s album carries tracks including Ndiri Humble, Inna Mi Head featuring Jamaican Sir Ford, Impilo Yethu featuring Albert Nyathi and Hatirevi Nyambo featuring Jah Prayzah.

Sulumani, who is set to launch his forthcoming album anytime soon, will also take the opportunity to sample new tracks from his yet-to-be-titled album.

sulumani-chimbetu-2-400x260
Sulumani Chimbetu 

“This is the first time coming to Bulawayo after I launched my latest album in Harare. If I Die Tonight is coming to Bulawayo for the first time. It’s a privilege to share the new music with my Bulawayo people, we promise nothing, but a killer show,” Stunner said.

Sulu’s publicist, Joe Local, echoed the same sentiments with Stunner.

“This is going to be a good show. Fans should expect new music from us. We will sample new stuff from our forthcoming album for the first time in Bulawayo. Everyone knows what we do, we don’t disappoint and we will not disappoint the students on their last day at varsity. A top drawer performance is what we promise and will deliver,” Joe Local said.

Show organiser, Samuel Saungwemi, confirmed that all was in place for the big day.

“All is in order now and this is going to be a big day for music lovers and especially the graduands. This is their last dance as university students and we will do it in style. All the artists have confirmed their participation, we will have everything for everyone from hip-hop, house, dancehall and sungura,” Saungwemi said.

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CHINHOYI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SCHOOL OF ART & DESIGN TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM THIS MONTH

The album titled ‘PaChinhoyi’ seeks to advance the idea of togetherness and celebrates the beauty of African resorts among other issues.

CHINHOYI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY School of Art & Design to release debut album this month!


CUT15 is an Afropop music group based at CUT which started last year when students and staff came together and record a track titled ‘Beautiful Zimbabwe’. The group aims to facilitate creative expression among students, staff and the larger community.

CUT school of Art and Design Dean, Dr Wonderful Bere said a number of strategies have been put in place to maintain and grow the band adding that as part of the university vision, the band will launch its first album on the 14th of this month.

CUT15 band manager, Russell Chawabvudza said the band will continue to be a permanent feature of the university as it comprises students and staff. He said the album titled ‘PaChinhoyi’ seeks to advance the idea of togetherness and celebrates the beauty of African resorts among other issues.

College and school bands normally falter if talented students leave institutions but the Chinhoyi University is now working on new strategies aimed at countering the challenge. Source-ZBC ONLINE NEWS-

SLIPPING AWAY FROM YOUR EYES…

by Andile Ndlovu | Nust-ZW

Dad, today i possess an aching heart

For the things you have failed to do

And those you are even failing to do now.

Its really breaking my soul.

 

I feel time is ticking fast

To get my heart pieces together.

Hatred is now a norm to me

I don’t even know where to begin

 

You have left me hopeless

That i will never find love from any man

How should i cope,dad

I am in so much hurting.

 

I feel like screaming and yelling

But in fear of my voice cracking

I feel like expressing myself

That you have really hurt me dad.

 

Listen to my hurtful words

For they are all i can say

I wish you had treated me right

Than just throwing me away like this

 

POCKERFACE

by K Cheryl Mwanza | Episode #13

What is this about exactly?”

“We just want to talk, Mrs. Mtandwa.” Detective Sergeant Brandon Makiwa said as he gathered his hands on the table in the conference room.

“Call me Jaylee.” She said quickly. “What is it you want to talk about?”

“Your fight with Debra-“

“Why?”

“She was found dead-“

“Debra is dead?” Jaylee asked with an expressionless face as she began to drum the table with perfectly manicured nails. “A part of me wants to be happy she’s gone. But being married to Nyasha has taught me something, and it’s that some little girl is going to come along and occupy him again.” She rolled her hands then crossed her hands. “You people think I killed her?”

“Did you?”

“No. I didn’t have to. In fact I didn’t need to. His affairs usually fizzle out with time. If that doesn’t happen, I just have to call my father. Nyasha is who he is because of my father’s money, and he damn well knows it.” She said then blinked once. It was the first time that Makiwa noticed how cold her eyes were. She was very beautiful and very intimidating. Her eyes were hollow and dry, and so was she. “I married that guy because I loved him. Ten years of my life I spent on him, and I got a broken jaw for it.” She looked straight into Makiwa’s eyes then added, “Will you arrest me for totally breaking him?”

“I don’t follow?”

“The mother of his child just died. He is obviously broken. I want to totally destroy him by taking away the only thing that is keeping him sane. His company.” She added in icy calmness, Makiwa didn’t feel comfortable interviewing her even further.

Nyasha had arrived at the station when Jaylee was long gone. He was however close to Debra Chimhepo, and he found himself on the other end of a desk in Detective Chief Inspector Tanaka Dube’s office. With her was Detective Mudiwa Chiwenga.

“He is here for his wife and seeing that she is not in here-“

“You were close with Debra, weren’t you? The two of you even had a son.” Chiwenga said instead.

“He is not answering any questions. If you think he’s guilty of something then charge him. Otherwise we are out.” Matthew said as he helped his friend up.

“You are under arrest for statutory rape.” Dube said as she produced handcuffs.

“Rape has to be reported. Otherwise you cannot charge him.” Matthew said.

“I know.” Dube said as she cuffed Nyasha. “I’m not doing this because I want him convicted. I mean, I want him convicted but her mother approved the relationship. All I need is for enough journalists to see him in cuffs and to write about how, with the help of his lawyer, he made a 15 year old pregnant and probably killed.”

“Ok, stop.” Nyasha said in a softer tone. “I will tell you everything you need to know about my relationship with Debra, if you take the chains off. Detective, my relationship with my wife is hanging in the balance, and will not survive something like this. Please.”

“You talk to these guys and you are going to be public news. Your relationship with Jaylee will be doomed.” Matthew said.

“It’s doomed either way.” He said turning to detective Dube. “I will tell you anything and everything you need, detective.”

“How do you sleep at night, detective?” Matthew asked in disgust.

“Better than you.” Dube hissed. “Debra was as old as your first born daughter when she had Nyasha’s baby. As a father, how do you sleep at night?”

Matthew grind his teeth as he clenched and unclenched his fists. He was so close to Dube he wanted to strangle her. To tear her apart. To destroy her. How dare she challenge him like that? Mudiwa drew out his gun and let it known to Matthew that one slip and he was going to shoot. Matthew swallowed hard then stepped back turned around and left.

“What do you want to know?”

“Initially we wanted to talk to you-just to talk. But your friend put on such a fierce fight to prevent that from happening, I want to know what it is you are hiding.”

“I am not hiding anything.”

“Then WHY would Zvinavashe vehemently deny you to talk to the police?” Chiwenga demanded.

“Half of my company is his. He stands to lose as much, if not more, if I get caught up in a scandal. So, what is it you want to know?”

“Debra’s killer picked her up in a really nice place-“

“Really nice place?” He said as he sat up straight. “Debra says that about The Pink Dollies. We have been to many exclusive restaurants, but she referred to only the Pink Dollies as nice. Where those exact words that were used?”

“Something like that. Why?”

“Then that means she was talking to strangers again. And her death might be really my fault.” He said cracking up. “You see, we were supposed to go a date to the Pink Dollies to celebrate our one year anniversary but I cancelled last minute?”

“Why?” Chiwenga asked.

“My marriage is on the rocks and my company is hanging in the balance. I might have loved Debra, but Jaylee is my life line. I had to make a choice.”

“You chose Jaylee.” Chiwenga said angrily.

“Don’t judge me.”  Nyasha snapped defensively. “You think it was easy for me to do that? I had been looking forward to our date, and it was just as hard on me as she was on her!”

“You said something about her talking to strangers. What was that all about?” Dube stepped in to try and diffuse the tension that was building in the room.

“Whenever I missed a date, she would go to the Pink Dollies, get drunk and end up pouring her heart out to some lonely random woman that she would have met in the bar.”

“Why would she do that?”

“She said there were things she couldn’t talk about with her mother because her mother wouldn’t understand. She found it much easier to go home with some random women, and I always told her that was dangerous. I always told her that one of these days she would end up-“, He stopped himself from finishing the sentence. Instead he said, “In moments when she was really raw with emotion, she would turn to women she considered mother figures.”

“In a bar?” Chiwenga asked.

“She did the strangest things when she was drunk.” He said with a nervous sad laugh. “The strangest.” He whispered.

“So there was no way she would have left the bar with a man?”

“No way. I know-knew her and she would never leave a bar with a man who wasn’t me. You see I was her first-“

“Too much DETAIL man!” Chiwenga yelled out in disgust.

“You didn’t let me finish. I was her first boyfriend. After we had our son, her focus was solely on me. Debra was capable of anything except that.”

“Thank you, Mr. Mtandwa. If we need anything, we will be in touch.” Dube said as she stepped in front of Chiwenga.

Once Nyasha was out, she turned to Chiwenga who looked back at her unapologetically.

“I understand you feel that Debra’s life was cut way too short, and you want justice for her, but she was just guilty as this man.”

“How would a girl from Hunyani Creek come to know about the Pink Dollies?” He asked. “Without him, she would be alive today.”

“You can’t know that for sure.”

“Why are you taking his side? He exploited a vulnerable kid! He robbed her of her INNOCENCE and he participated in her death! He should be jail.”

“Mudiwa.” She said softly.

“NO!” He banged the door after himself.

 

“Is Mudiwa going to be okay?” Detective Inspector Qiniso Dhlamini asked as Dube joined her and Makiwa.

“I don’t know.” Dube sighed then said. “Let him sit tonight out. So what do we have on the girl that was picked up at the airport?”

“Gono is with her right now.” Makiwa answered. “I made a call to the Pink Dollies and they confirmed that Debra was there and that she was also drunk out of her mind. And here is the best part-“

“She left with a woman?” Dube asked.

“Yes. The waitress said the woman is well in her forties, even though she takes care of herself. She is beautiful with a dark complexion and expensive taste. The waitress said that Debra was pouring out her mind and soul to this woman like they knew each other, even though they had arrived separately.”

“What do we have on CCTV footage?”

“They don’t have any. They take the privacy of their clientele very seriously.”

“Well, the description they gave fits Sasha Mubaiwa.” Dhlamini said as she produced a khaki file. “Sasha’s husband just filed for divorce, and the two have been leaving separately for a month. Her job as a defense lawyer is hanging in the balance as well. She is being investigated for witness intimidation and evidence tampering. All of this happened at the same time and around the same time as when she crossed path with Cynthia. What is really interesting is that, during Sasha’s tenure as High court judge, ten people landed on death row and three were executed.”

“Sasha is slipping off then she meets Cynthia whom she feels weirdly connected to, and then these women who remind her so much of  past that she wants to forget.” Makiwa said.

“Do we have anything on Sasha Mubaiwa during her early days? The author despised her mother and that is the reason for the killings right. We need something to support that, otherwise we don’t have a case.”

“Anything below 20 years is sealed.”

Just then Detective Keegan Gono entered the working area with a file in his left hand.

“Do you have something for me?” Dube asked as she made some notes on the murder board.

“Yes. Karen Chimuti said that Martin Gondo gave her the bag. She swore on her mother’s life.”

“And you believed her?” Dube asked.

“Considering she almost died when I placed my gun on the table, yes. I have already called to have in brought him in, and we are in for a treat. His lawyer, Sasha Mubaiwa answered the phone and they are coming together.”

“We are fairly certain now that the author is a woman. However, we cannot totally rule the idea of a male killer out. Where would Martin have found Laura’s bag?” Dube asked.

“Maybe Sasha gave it to him.” Dhlamini said as she concentrated on a cell phone that she had in her hand. “According to the GPS on Laura’s bag, before the bag found its way at the airport in was in two places. The first place, being a house in Westlea. The same house where Laura was held captive.”

“So we think Sasha might have done this right? Why don’t we do a little experiment to be sure?” Gono said, and everyone turned to look at him. “The second letter specifies that the author’s attention was grabbed by the scent our victim had on, right? Why don’t we find someone who resembles both out victims and have her wear the same exact perfume. We monitor her and hopefully catch Sasha in the act.”

 

 

Nyasha went straight to his office after his trip to Harare. Not wanting to face either his friend or his wife, he knew being at his company would afford him that. He wanted to mourn the death of the woman he loved in peace. He found a lone envelope on his desk, and he opened it without a second thought. He felt himself crumble to pieces as the letter began to make sense in his head. Jaylee Nyoni had just divorced him.

POCKERFACE

by K Cheryl Mwanza | Episode #12

Nyasha Mtandwa nodded his head as the last of the board members exited his office. As if he didn’t already have a headache over the shaky nature of his marriage and how that could bring down his entire empire, Debra had turned up dead. Murdered even. He felt tears burning holes in his eyes, when he thought about her death. Her mother had called her crying her eyes out, and had it not been for Jaylee, he would have immediately rushed to be with them.

Nyasha Mtandwa owned an IT company that had been an overnight sensation and had catapulted him to dizzy heights.

He was the son of a bank security guard and a maid, who worked in the mansions in Rosemary that is how he met his wife, former model and socialite Jaylee. Jaylee’s father was very wealthy, nobody knew why, and he was the reason why Nyasha had become the man he was today, successful and rich.

To the outside world, Nyasha Mtandwa had it all. A revolutionary company, a beautiful wife and a life of fine dining and expensive cars, but three years in, and he was ready to kill himself than face Jaylee again. The only problem, he was a greedy coward. Even when he had met the woman, or girl depending on how one chose to see it, of his dreams who had given him the one thing Jaylee could not, an heir, he still clung to Jaylee and allowed himself to be controlled by her father’s money. His one true love was dead, and all of a sudden Jaylee and her father’s money stopped being all that. At this moment, he would have given anything, absolutely anything to have Debra back with him now.

The anniversary of their first date had been a few days ago. It was their fifth anniversary, and it was an even bigger deal to Debra. A few days before she had turned 19, and in Rosemary she was considered an adult, which meant the both of them could enjoy their favorite restaurant without anyone bothering them about the age difference, or calling Nyasha a rapist. Debra had been looking forward to the date all year round, and when it had finally come, Nyasha was unable to attend.

Jaylee had discovered Nyasha’s infidelity a month and a half ago, and what had made her even more furious was the fact that the affair had resulted in a child. Jaylee had confronted Debra, and had her collarbone and jaw broken in the process. Debra was arrested, Jaylee was hospitalized and Nyasha’s reputation hung in the balance. He had to make a choice, he had chosen Jaylee, and Debra had turned up dead.

He punched his desk as he got up. Just then the door was opened and his good friend and lawyer, Matthew Zvinavashe walked in. Nyasha managed a smile as he extended his hand to shake Matthew.

“Come on, this is no time to be formal.” Zvinavashe said as he went on to hug his friend. “How are you holding up?”

“Mr. Nyoni is on his way from Hong Kong and my relationship with Jaylee has been far from perfect.”

“I wasn’t talking about that. I meant about Debra dying. Your father called me, and soon as I was done with my meetings I came here.”

“I still can’t believe it, man.” He said turning away from Matthew. “I have to think about my son now.”

“That’s kinda why I am here. With the state your relationship with your wife is, and the way things are generally going, I would suggest you leave your son with his grandmother. Be involved in his life as best as you can, and when he is old enough, and you are stable enough, you can bring him to live with you.”

“I am stable now. I mean everyone goes through grief!”

“I meant financial stability.” Zvinavashe said calmly. “You are still very much owned by Nyoni and his family. If you bring our son into the spotlight now, you are most likely going to lose everything.” He paused then added, “I don’t want you wearing your emotions on your sleeve. You need to work on your marriage and prioritize Jaylee, and show her father that she is the most important thing in your life. Do we have that clear?”

“The mother of my child just died. How can you ask me to do that?”

“She is dead and that is sad. But you are alive, and are about to be become a very poor man with a much damaged reputation. The choice is yours.”

He looked back at Matthew now deep in thought. He had come too far to watch everything just slip away from him like that. But at the same time the woman he loved, and the mother of his child had just died. He looked away from Matthew and back out of the window then swallowed hard.

A deep silence fell over the room, and amplified his confused thoughts to the point where he felt his head was about to explode and make a mess of his office. The silence was disrupted by his secretary, Yolanda, who burst into the room with horror written all over her face.

“What is it?” Matthew asked.

“Mrs. Mtandwa was just picked up by Harare CID police.”

“What?” Nyasha screamed. “They can’t honestly think Jaylee would be capable of killing Debra. I mean she can’t. She is not!”

“Thank you Yolanda.” Matthew said as he released the secretary. He then turned to his friend, and in a low stern voice he said, “I know you must be in a very bad state right now, but need I remind you of what’s at stake here? This is Rosemary, the grapevine in more effective in ways that will destroy you. Watch what you say, alright.”

“What do I do now?”

“The only thing you can do. You have to follow your wife.”

 

A MOTHER’S NIGHTMARE

by K Cheryl Mwanza | Episode #11

Cynthia Mare walked into the Homicide Department. She peeked into the working area, and locked eyes with Detective Inspector Qiniso Dhlamini. She swallowed hard as she began to walk toward the detective who was holding a rag in one hand, and a mighty marker in another. Her eyes never left Cynthia as she approached her.

They weren’t the nicest of friends, they weren’t even friends. From the moment they had met, there had been a lot of friction between them.

“Arh-Celeste and Danai came to my house and arh-I looked through the articles about ladies of the night and violence. I’m going to need something specific because in those five months I wrote almost a hundred articles about that.”

“Did any of the women die as a result of the violence?”

“In the articles that made it to the paper, no. But a month ago I wrote an article that could have catapulted me to stardom. But Sasha Mubaiwa threatened to sue me till I bled money from my nose if I ran with it.”

“Take a seat.” Dhlamini said pointing at a desk that was closest to the board. She then sat on top of the desk as she held a small black book in hand.

“Martin Gondo-“

“As in Public Prosecutor Evelyn Gondo’s son?”

“Yes, him. He was going out with a woman who doubled as a lady of the night in the Avenues. A month and half ago, the woman was bashed to death by a John who had picked her up for the night-“

“Why would Sasha Mubaiwa threaten you?”

“She is Martin’s lawyer. Has been since she retired as a High court judge. Anyway, she didn’t want her client’s name to be associated with a lady of the night.”

“Do you still have notes on that story?”

“I do.” She said as she opened her bag. She took out a sealed plastic bag, and handed it to the detective.

Dhlamini received it then immediately opened it.

“Why would you need this?”

“It might be important for our case.” Dhlamini answered already into the case. “Thank you.”

 

Hunyani Creek was a high density location that was located along the Harare-Bulawayo Highway and right across the road from the National sports stadium. The suburb was divided into two, there was an area with nicely built, though tightly packed houses everyone referred to as the Creek. Away from the road and deep in the suburb, were the slums and the squatters and the heart and soul of the whole community.

When Debra had started seeing Nyasha Mtandwa, he had moved her from the slums, and had bought her a house in the Creek. He could have bought her a house anywhere. Infact he wanted to buy her a house in a nice place, but Debra wasn’t unable to get her mother to leave the Creek. And since she was fifteen when she the affair started, her mother had threatened Mtandwa with reporting him for statutory rape if he had continued on forcing Debra to leave.

What he had done however, was extent two rooms to the five that came with the house, had a brick durawall around the house and furnished it as expensive as he could. Mrs. Chimhepo was now reaping from where her daughter had sowed.

When Dube arrived in the Creek in the heat of the afternoon, Mrs. Chimhepo had her grandson strapped to her back and was leaning over an open fire cooking beans. With her was her daughter-in-law, who was doing laundry by a sink not so far from where she was.

Dube’s black Nissan Navara had drawn a lot of attention in the neighborhood and by the time it parked in front the Chimhepo residence, news of it had filtered to them. Now everyone else wanted to know what the car was doing there, and if it had anything to do with Debra. There were a lot of rumors about her in the area, especially after she had a baby out of wedlock, and was suddenly able to attend the Hunyani Creek Vocational Training School. After all, her mother wasn’t working and neither was she.

“I want to have a word with that man!” Mrs. Chimhepo spat out as soon as Dube entered. “What is he thinking sending someone in the afternoon like this!”

“Excuse me?”

“Amai, please.” Amai Nico, the daughter-in-law, said as she stood next to her mother. Wiping her wet hands against her skirt she continued, “Let the woman speak. After all, it’s Mtandwa’s fault, not hers.”

“I’m not here because of Mr. Mtandwa. I’m here because of Debra Chimhepo. I was told she lives here.”

“I’m her mother. Why would you need to see my daughter?”

“Ma’am, I’m detective chief inspector Tanaka Dube and I’m with CID: Homicide-“

“Homicide?” Amai Nico asked as she held on to her mother-in-law. “You might want to sit down for this, amai.” She said as she went inside and came back with two stools.

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m sorry ma’am, but we found your daughter murdered.”

 

Cynthia Mare met up with Nashe Matinya at Nashe’s house, and shared with her what had happened at the police station. Since she was under Nashe’s wing, she had started doing things like Nashe, which meant she had kept a copy of the file that she had given to Dhlamini.

“Why would Dhlamini need this?”

“That is not important. But she was interested in Sasha Mubaiwa, maybe we need to take a look at her. Like look into her deeply.”

“What did, like, the wonder kids tell you about the case?”

“You think I have to ask them?”

“If they tell us anything, like, then we will know where Sasha Mubaiwa fits, like, into all of this and, like, we will know exactly what to look into about her.”

“It won’t be hard to get in touch with them. However, will the police be okay with us prying into the case like this?”

“I thought, like, you wanted to make a name for yourself? How can you do that when you are so afraid of the police?”

“After being arrested and spending a night in the holding cells, I don’t know-I don’t want to be arrested again.”

“This, like, is your case too. The letters are addressed to you.” Nashe said calmly.

Cynthia nodded at everything Nashe said although she wasn’t as enthusiastic as she had been when the first letter had arrived.

 

 

Mrs. Chimhepo returned to the cemetery a day after the burial. Standing before her daughter’s grave she could feel her heart breaking. She had cried so much when the detective had come with the news, and she had cried even harder when she had gone to the Mortuary for body identification.

However as the funeral processions went on, her mind slipped into a surreal state and it was as if her daughter was out, like usual, and was going to come back any time now. Even as she was standing infront of Debra’s grave, she found it hard to believe that her daughter was actually gone.

She felt pain inside of her, but was unable to cry for she had cried herself dry. She sighed as she turned away from the grave and began making the long journey home. She had lived all her life with her daughter and wasn’t looking forward to life without her. Her son had come back to live with her, and with him his wife, Amai Nico, and their two children. Mrs. Chimhepo had smiled when they had told them about their plans to stay, but having them with her was a painful reminder that Debra was no longer with her.

She arrived home, and found Cynthia Mare and Detective Mudiwa Chiwenga. They were huddled by the fire with her son and daughter-in-law. The last of the mourners had just left and only close family members had stayed on.

“Detective?”

“Mrs. Chimhepo.” Chiwenga said as he got up. “I-“

“You can stay, detective. So can you, Mrs. Mare. Thank you for being here.” She said as she sat in-between her son and daughter-in-law. “My daughter-she was wonderful.”

“Writing about your daughter, I know I didn’t know her personally, but somehow I feel like I know her.” Cynthia said. “She was a good person.”

“I hope everyone will see that. You see, I know that my daughter had flaws, everyone has flaws detective. But I don’t want her to be remembered for those flaws.”

“I have been reading a lot on the author,” Amai Nico began, “Was there a way to prevent what happened to Aunt Debra?”

“It’s not good thinking like that, Amai Nico.” Her husband scolded her. “What good is thinking like that? What we should be asking is what the police are doing to find the killer!”

“My daughter just died. Can we respect that? Please.”

Chiwenga and Mare exchanged looks then both stared into the fire at the same time.

A MOTHER’S NIGHTMARE

by K Cheryl Mwanza | Episode #10

“Aren’t you kids supposed to be in school?” Detective Chief Inspector Tanaka Dube asked as she opened the door to the Conference room.

Inside was Celeste May and Danai Chaurukwa, their wonder kids, two high school students that were assisting the literature part of their homicide investigation. Two women had been murdered by a killer they had nicknamed the ‘author’ and so far the kids had been right about his behavior. It was unsettling in that, after they had said he was going to kill again, he had killed again, and they had said he wasn’t going to stop. Harare CID was on borrowed time with the case.

“Our first lesson is starting way after the tea break.” Celeste said as she crossed her hands before her chest. “I went through the letter. The author is losing control in his life, and that reflected in the way he handled the second victim.”

“Didn’t that have anything to do with her countering every move he made?”

“Part of it was. Part of it was how she mirrored his mother in those moments. Testing him and pushing him past the point of no return. But the level of rage and anger he showed wasn’t only because of the above. The rage is from his own life that spilled into his safe zone. Remember we said that by killing he is trying to reclaim the control he is losing in his life. He is continuously losing control in his own life which means he is going to up his game, kill a whole lot more women in the most gruesome manner.”

“Why aren’t you saying anything?” Dube said turning to Danai.

“Because he believes the killer is a woman.” Celeste said with sarcasm.

“A woman?”

“Exactly what I said. He is basing that on the fact that only a woman would see past Laura’s physical hotness to the beauty of her personality or something like that.”

“A woman?” Dube repeated.

“It makes more sense than looking at the author as a man. We initially said the author was killing the mother he saw in these women. But in the second letter, the author says, if your parents has raised you right, maybe you would have turned out differently. I believe in as much as she is killing the mother that she sees in these women, as in the perfume, she is also killing these women because they remind her of herself. Here she is trying to make a life of herself. Something that appears perfect, but that is increasingly falling apart. And then she meets women who remind her both of the mother she loves to hate and her true self. She was messed up by her mother, and no matter how much she tried to escape, her past stuck with her and is haunting her as powerfully now as it was back then.”

“I am only going to consider that because in a murder investigation, until proven otherwise, we follow every lead.” She said as she got up. She extended her right hand as she took turns shaking the kids. “If you come up with anything, you will let us know. Right?” She said with a straight face, but she wasn’t sure about them anymore.

“Mrs. Mare said she was going to go through every article she wrote in the last five months that had anything to do with prostitution and violence. She said she was going to get back to us after the weekend. I called Mr. Mare and said she could contact you directly, if that’s okay.”

“Thank you once again.” She said.

“And one more thing. See if you can get the name of the perfume the second victim was wearing. It might come in handy.”

 

“Do we have anything on our victim?” Dube asked as she entered the working room.

During midmorning it was usually vacant except for today, Detective Keegan Gono was the only one in, and was in front of a computer typing furiously. In front of him was a white board with the pictures of the two victim, a time line in mighty marker including notes scribbled at the corners of the board. When she got near him, he looked up then cleared his throat as he prepared to speak.

Before he could let anything out, Detective Sergeant Brandon Makiwa busted into the room with a khaki file in his hands. “I have looked through High court judges, current and retired going back to 1980 and no one fits the profile the wonder kids gave to us. Sure, they have a murky past with women, but it’s mostly wayward daughters, ex-wives, second wives and secretaries. Half of the judges I have on the list come from very privileged homes. The other half they had to struggle to get where they were, but both parents were present and discipline was of the essence. We need to work another angle.”

“I saw the wonder kids this morning. They suggested that we might be looking for a female killer. Run with that and see what you can get. While you are at it, call Doctor Saidi and have him tell you the perfume that the second vic had on.”

“Sure thing, boss.” He said as he exited.

“A female killer.” Gono shrugged. “That’s new.”

“I now see the mistake in listening to a couple of literature students, but at this moment in the case we don’t have anything to lose by expanding our suspect pool. Do you have anything on the second victim?”

“Yes. I was able to ID her. Her name is Debra Chimhepo. She is 19 years and lives on number 12333 Hunyani Creek.”

“We had her in our system?”

“Yes. Two months ago she was arrested for aggravated assault after a fight with Mrs. Jaylee Mtandwa got a little out of hand.” Gono said clicking on his mouse and displaying very nasty photos of a badly battered woman.

“That’s Jaylee Mtandwa.” Dube exclaimed as she pointed at the screen. “Why would Jaylee fight with a 19 year old from Hunyani Creek? The last I checked Jaylee and her husband stayed in Grandchester, and that’s a world away from the Creek.”

“Well, it might be, but Debra was having an affair with Jaylee Mtandwa’s husband, Nyasha. They even have a three year old child together.”

“They fought because Jaylee had just discovered that her husband had an illegitimate child?”

“Actually, since Jaylee and Nyasha don’t have any children of their own, his child with Debra is his heir.”

“I can see why Jaylee would be bumped by that. A kid from the gutters gave her husband an heir that would one day take everything from her.” Dube swallowed then said, “I’m off to Hunyani Creek, if you need me.”

“There is more, though.” Gono said, “I know it might be a long stretch, but the wonder kids did say that the killer might be female-“

“And you think it might be Jaylee?”

“Well, she just discovered her husband was cheating on her and there’s sure to be trouble in paradise. Not only that, her modelling agency recently dropped her and her boutique went under two months ago. Her life is spinning out of control. It’s stretching it, I know, but it wouldn’t do any harm to bring her in and question her.”

“Bring her in.” She said as she began to walk away.

BENEATH THE SURFACE

by K Cheryl Mwanza | Episode #8

Cynthia Mare  made herself a cup of tea but hardly touched it. She placed it gently on a glass dining room table then curled up into a ball on a sofa that directly faced the table. She looked around her dining room, it wasn’t bad for someone as old as she was, but it was bad by her standards. When she had accepted a job at the Harare Project Newspaper, she had expected to receive a salary that was to compensate for all her hard work in college. After all, it was the newspaper that had made Nashe Matinya both a star and a pretty wealthy woman.

But that wasn’t so with her. For many years, Cynthia was stuck behind the Aunt Letwin persona. Giving ridiculous love advice to even ridiculous requests. She had tried to show that her talents were being wasted this way, but to her surprise she was given a human interest column. Her job was to write and report on issues that affected the ordinary Zimbabwean, meaning half the time there was nothing scandalous or delicious about it. As a result, there was no pay raise for her.

She had stumbled on something that was going to make her a big shot in the industry, and she had been arrested for it. When she recalled the holding cells at Harare Central, she shuddered. This had been the first time she had been arrested and she hated the experience.

As if that was not enough, she had heard, through the grapevine of course, that a number of people thought she had planned this to derail Nashe’s career so that she, Cynthia, can take over Nashe’s job. When she had first heard it, she thought it was ridiculous. It was true, that there were times when she was very jealous of Nashe, but even she had enough sense in her brain to know the only way she could overtake Nashe was by working her butt off. However, the more she heard about it, the more disturbed she became.

Her train of thought was disturbed by a knock on her door. She answered it then quickly jumped to her feet. Her mind went blank, as Nashe sat on a sofa across from her.

“Nashe.”

“Hi. I’m glad, like, you are alright.”

“I’m not trying to take over your job. I mean, we were both there! I didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t pay anyone to do it either-“

“This, like, was the big break your career needed.” Nashe interrupted her, “Why take me, like, along for the ride?” She spoke with the calmness that made Cynthia weak.

Cynthia sank back into the sofa as she began to scratch her nails. “I believe-have always believed there is room for all of us at the top. I-I want to be as successful as you are. And I know to do that, I need help.” She looked down to her hands then added, “Who better to help me succeed than you?” She looked up, waited for Nashe to speak. When she didn’t, Cynthia continued. “Hiring a lawyer might have been a bad move. But I wanted to at least protect us. I mean, the detectives think I orchestrated-“

“They, like, don’t think you did it. They don’t think you are that smart.” She interrupted expressionless.

“What about you?”

“I don’t think, like, you are cold.”

“This. This was supposed to be my big break. And now I’m the topic of gossip and everything is going downhill.”

“I was shot at.” Nashe began all of a sudden. Cynthia looked at her with confusion, but Nashe continued like she hadn’t noticed a thing. “I was attacked. I have, like, been in those holding cells so much so, like, almost everyone at Harare Central knows me. I haven’t had it, like, easy.” She paused as she looked at her hands. “I, like, haven’t had it easy. But each step of the way I believed in what I was doing, and like, that got me through it. In the end, like, all of that craziness was worth it.” She looked at Cynthia then added. “If you still want me to help, like, I’m willing to.”

‘Really?” She asked rather skeptically.

“Of course. Someone, like, is terrorizing women and had picked you as an outlet. I want to, like, be a part of that ride.”

“Thank you.” She said with a flat voice. She cleared her voice as excitement popped into her eyes, “Thank you so much.” She thought for a way then with a loud jovial voice she added, “I’m feeling so excited already.”

“It’s not, like, going to be easy though.” Nashe began. “And if, like, I’m doing this with you then I have one or two things that, like, I want you to do.”

“Anything.”

“Get rid of your lawyer and, like, go back and talk to the detectives.”

“But-“

“And this case is, like, not about you. It’s about the girl who died.”

“They interrogated me like a criminal!” She yelled jumping up. “You just want me to hand myself to them just like that? Why?!”

“Because they don’t think you, like, are smart enough to have orchestrated this. Besides, you do, like, need me on your team or people are going to shred you.”

Cynthia didn’t answer. All she managed to do was throw herself back on the sofa.

 

Danai Chaurukwa paced around the conference room at Harare Central Police: Homicide department as reread the letter that has begun the murder mystery he and his friend, Celeste May, were now in the middle of. Celeste followed him with her eyes and their teacher Mr. Ngoni Mare followed both with his eyes.

The silence in the room was slowly getting to him. Unable to take it anymore, he cleared his throat and both kids simultaneously looked at him.

“Well?” He asked.

“There is something seriously bothering me about this letter?” Danai replied.

“What is it?” Ngoni asked.

“Until I’m sure, I don’t want to put it out there. You did say that we can hold on to the letter until Sunday right? Can I be the one holding on to it?”

“Sure.” Ngoni answered with suspicion.

“Mr. Mare,” Celeste began, “Can we go see your wife?”

“Why?” Both men answered at once.

“Well, she is as important to the story as the author himself. The bond the author shares with her has been dormant all this while, and he could go on without communicating with her. What changed?”

“I don’t follow.”

“We did say that something triggered the reactivation of the author’s relationship with your wife, right? Your wife is a journalist. Maybe there is something she reported on that links your killer to his past that is his mother, and her.”

“But you said he doesn’t see her as a journalist?”

“He doesn’t.” She answered. “But she must have done something that brought her back into his radar. And because she is a journalist, it makes sense that she might have written something that mirrored his past. That connected him to his mother and to her.”

“It has to be something recent.” Danai said thoughtfully. “In the last five months, what has been the focus of your wife’s reportage?”

“I can’t answer that truthfully. Of course, I have read almost everything my wife has written and she is a good writer. But she is always complaining and for me it takes away something from the article.” He exhaled loudly through his noise then said, “My wife is not in very good spirits today. She might be mean to you.” He said as he got out.

On their way out, they stopped by Chief Superintendent Lincoln Chigariro’s office. Ngoni felt obligated to tell the chief about them going with the letter, even though he had been given the green light on that, and about the kids talking to his wife.

 

Ngoni found his wife at her working desk in the kitchen corner. As usually, beef stew was cooking on the stove, a rack by the kitchen sink was filled with dishes and a dish with soaked dish towels was sitting at the center of a kitchen table.

Cynthia looked up, bit her tongue when she saw Ngoni was accompanied by two school children then smiled as she offered them seats. She offered them Mazoe Orange crush with loose biscuits.

“Mrs. Mare, we have a few questions we want to ask you. If you don’t mind.” Celeste began hardly touching the food she had been given.

“About what?”

Ngoni then explained the role these school children were playing in the case and why it was of great importance for her to talk to them. He felt he couldn’t stress that importance enough, and hoped his wife’s mood had gotten better. She nodded her head when her husband finished talking, and nodded for Celeste to ask away.

“We believe that whatever it is that triggered the author, occurred in the last five months-”

“So you want me to go back to every article that I wrote in that time?”

“If it’s too much to ask, then we will go through it, ma’am.” Danai said quickly. “It won’t be every article. Just those that focus on prostitution.”

Cynthia turned to her husband who was drumming his hands on the table. She looked back at the kids then said, “What about it?”

“At this moment we are not sure. But we want to focus on violence inflicted on them. From the way the letter reads, and how the woman met a violent demise at the author’s hands, we are thinking the object of the killer’s hate and desire met a rather violent end too.”

“So, we are thinking that maybe you might have written something along those lines, and that might have-“

“Give me up to Monday.” She said as she got up. “I have some work to do if you don’t mind.”

“Of course.” Danai answered then emptied his drink.

Soon afterwards the kids were on their way.

“A couple of school children. Really?” Cynthia snorted as he husband came back inside.

“The Homicide Unit thinks they are good enough.” He said calmly as he began clearing the table.

“Nashe was here.” Cynthia said. Her husband didn’t respond. She continued anyway. “She believes that I was wrong by hiring a lawyer.”

“So when she says it you listen.”

“Well, she had some pretty valid points.”

“And I didn’t? Telling you we can’t afford it is not valid?” HE asked with his back to her.

“Either way, I’m dropping the lawyer and I’m going to fully cooperate with the police. Now that I have Nashe on board, I can see myself conquering the world. Now the world is going to be forced to take notice.” She said with her smile mostly to herself.

Her husband didn’t notice. By now he knew when his wife was speaking to him, and when she was speaking to herself. Silence was best in moments like this one. After all, answering back, no matter how positive, was the surest way to incur her wrath.

When Cynthia made her trip to Harare Central the following morning, the whole idea of conquering the world was her driving force. It got her through the interviews, which lasted more than she was prepared for, and knowing what was at stake helped keep her head cool and her answers meek.

However after Laura Vanhuvangu, the murder victim,’s funeral she was suddenly conflicted. For the first time since coming into contact with the letter, she saw Laura as a human.

As she read through Laura’s diary, Laura’s mother had given it to her, she could not help but cry. Someone so young and so full of life had met such a violent end because someone somewhere had such a twisted mind. She too had been sucked into that twisted mind, having seen Laura as a story that was to catapult her to stardom and wealth rather than an innocent woman who had been preyed on and murdered.

Ngoni heard what he thought was muffled crying. At first he thought he’s mind was playing tricks on him. Cynthia didn’t cry and well, Cynthia didn’t cry. He tried drifting back to sleep, but couldn’t. He turned to look at his wife who was reading a journal by candle light. She never did that.

Not that she was a cold person, but she had never put his feelings into consideration before. Whenever she had something to read, she would turn on the lights and he would have to adjust to sleeping in the light.

“Are you alright?” He asked quietly

Startled, she quickly close the journal and the candle light went off. Ngoni got up, walked to the other end of the room then turned the light on and found Cynthia’s face soaked with tears.

“What happened?” He breathed out as he rushed to her side.

“Nothing.” She answered as fresh tears rolled down her cheeks. “Her mother gave me this at the funeral.” She said lifting the journal. “She was a person. She is not just a story.” She said as she began to sob out loud. “She was a person.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOODY EPISTLES

by K Cheryl Mwanza| Episode #7

Detective Chief Inspector Tanaka Dube along with Detective Mudiwa Chiwenga arrived at the Harare Project Newspaper Headquarters on Jason Moyo Avenue. The editor was pacing to and fro and it was clear from his movements the man was anxious and under a lot of stress. It was to be expected, after all he had Nashe Matinya as an employee, Dube thought.

The editor looked up and stopped pacing, although he could not control the sweat from his forehead. He staggered for a moment when he saw just how prepared the detectives were. They had bullet proof vests and were carrying weapons, the editor suspected were loaded. However, what freaked right out of his mind was the Ak47 the Chief Inspector was carrying on her back.

“Why do you carry a rifle and a pistol?”

“I’m a good shot.” Dube said with a smile that made the editor feel weird. The same feeling he experienced whenever he was staring back at Nashe. “Where is the letter?”

“And wh-wh-wh-where is everyone?” Chiwenga asked.

“I asked them all to go out. I’m doing my best to protect Cynthia and Nashe.” He said as he opened a drawer below his desk. He took out the letter then handed it to Chiwenga who browsed through it before he handed it to Dube.

Chiwenga took a seat on the editor’s desk as the editor sat on his desk. Seeing how everyone was looking back at her, she decided to read the letter aloud. Unlike the first letter, this one was officially addressed to Cynthia. It read,

Dear Cynthia Mare

I would like to begin by saying thank you for being my friend again. I haven’t had a friend like you. Someone who takes me seriously. For that I thank you. I am not a sentimental person, and I won’t pretend to be in this letter. I will get to the point of why I’m writing to you. To begin with, stop working with those doofuses from Harare CID. I was there at that house the entire time, and yet they walked in and out of the house with only a bloody knife. Anyway that is a conversation for another time and day.

Yesterday night I went into town bored out of my mind. I walked into a restaurant and I loved everything about it. It was cool and private and an ideal place to go with a spouse. Anyway, I was alone and I didn’t want to seem alone so I headed straight for the bar with my head held high. I sat there and as I received my first glass, a woman approached me. Well, not me particularly, but she came and sat next to me. She was beautiful, with dark skin and a body to die for. She was wearing a tight red dress that showed off ample cleavage and most of her thighs.

When most women dress like this, they look like prostitutes, when she did it, she looked classy. However it’s not the way she was dressed that caught my eye. It was her perfume. It was too much, like my mother. Just like my mother. It made my heart beat in ways I haven’t experienced in a really long time and took notice.

She had a beautiful smile and when she talked, her personality oozed through. She was a strong beautiful women with her head in the right place, and had she been loved by her parents for just a little bit, she would have turned out better. I digress, anyway we talked and talked, and talked, man that woman could talk.

I bought her drinks and she seemed to like that I was buying her drinks without wanting to do anything to her afterwards. It was rather ironic that when I asked her to come home with me at the end of the night, she happily came with me. After all she had spent my money and nothing was for free, her words not mine.

I drove instead to her house, and when I parked in front of her gate, she looked at me with disappointment. She begged me to go with her, and I did. She was so drunk, all she did was pass out as soon as I put her on the sofa. When she was up, I had tied her to a chair, and at first she thought it was a game we were playing.

It was annoying. Every torture mechanism that I tried on the first girl was not working with her, because she was enjoying it. She wasn’t begging for her life. She was telling me to do more. To try harder. To stop being so soft. I was losing control and was becoming so furious I felt like life was being drained out of me.

Unable to continue playing with her, I lost it and stabbed her once in the neck. She looked at me with horror. I looked back at her with disappointment. She had robbed me of days and days of excitement and satisfaction because for some reason she knew the right buttons to make me annoyed.

All the plans that I had for us went down the drain. I watched her bleed out as I cursed over and over again. The bitch was exactly like my mother.

I left her for an hour, and when I was back, she was dead. I wrapped her in a blanket, put her in the back of my car then drove to Warren Park D’s Mereki Shopping center. I dumped her in the grass by sparkle car wash. She was just like the trash that I covered her with.

Wow, talking to you really made me feel better. If you didn’t work with morons, maybe I would have allowed you to write back to me. But it doesn’t matter. I will keep my ears open and will know that you are truly a friend.

Until later, Cynthia.

Dube looked up from the ground as Chiwenga made a call for backup while he headed for the exit.

“When did this did come in?” Dube asked.

“Just now. Rose just brought it in-she’s Aunt Letwin’s assistant.” He said as he reached for the phone. He dialed a number, whispered into it and within seconds a woman who was clearly overdressed for the newspaper walked in.

“Introduce yourself.” The editor said.

“I’m Rose. I’m Aunt Letwin’s assistant, and every day, mid-morning I pick up mail for Aunt Letwin. The mail is dumped in a plastic bin by the door on the ground floor. When I was sorting through the mail, I found a unique letter. A few days ago a found a letter just like this, and it led to a body. Or so I hear.”

“Who brought it in?”

“I don’t know. Aunt Letwin’s letters are dropped in anonymously. It’s part of the reason why we don’t have CCTV footage on the ground floor.”

“I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this, but why would someone drop a letter for Cynthia in Aunt Letwin’s bin?”

Rose turned to face the editor who answered instead of her, “Because Cynthia is Aunt Letwin. But that is not to leave this room.”

Tanaka burst into laughter that shocked the editor and Rose. She looked up tearing up a bit then said, “I read those Aunt Letwin comments. I can’t believe a woman who writes that is pretty sane. Have you read half the things she writes?”

“Let me remind you that what we run here is a tabloid.” The editor said feeling offended.

“My bad.” Dube said with her hands on her waist. “If you learn anything new, call me.”

“Of course, detective.” Rose answered instead.

 

 

Mereki Shopping center was alright for a place that was as famous as it was. There was nothing really special about it which boggled the mind as to why it was the talk of the city. There were a couple of super markets then came butcheries and of course beer halls with blazing music and pretty interesting characters inside as well as outside. Away from the shops, were a number shacks that sold everything from airtime to cigarettes to pirated CDs. Shadowing these shacks were individuals with braai stands who were braaing chicken livers, kidneys and lungs. There was an official cooking and braaing area but at the moment was vacant. Business was low as well at the car wash.

However, the fact that police cars were parked randomly in front of Sparkle Car wash didn’t stop people from going on with their various businesses. Once in a while people stopped and stared, but a after a moment or two went back to their businesses.

Chiwenga looked on as the body was being carried off in an ambulance. He had seen the face of the victim, and she was so young. Life wasted. He could feel tears burning in his eyes, but he refused to cry. The burning sensation had traveled away from his eyes to his chest and he could feel a real piercing pain in his heart. He would go to hell before he allowed the person responsible for this to walk free.

“Wow.” Dube said looking around as she approached him. “Did you find anything else?” She asked as she mentally adjusted her sense of smell to be able to tolerate the place.

Without the body, it was just another dump site, with rotting trash all over. The surrounding areas were covered with overgrown grass that held even more rotting trash.

“No. Not really.” He answered choking up. “But I suppose after a thorough sweep by the CSU we might h-h-h-have something.”

“We’ll find the person who did this.” Dube said rubbing Chiwenga’s back in a comforting way.

“She was s-s-so young.”

“I know.” She said as she dropped her hand.

“Uniform talked to people around here. The place was deserted around midnight and up again by five in the morning. They didn’t notice anything o-o-out of the ordinary.”

Dube didn’t answer and Chiwenga didn’t say anything else. Dube could see that Chiwenga had been deeply disturbed by the case, and having experienced what he was going through, she let him be.