Give somebody an inch, they will take a mile. A Blantyre-based 27-year-old Harrison Davie offered his friend Dalitso Mwenye Mbwana shelter, little did he know that his kind gesture would haunt him the rest of his life.
Davie survived to relive the ordeal, but his wife Jessie Bero, 26, and Mbwana did not.
Speaking from his bed at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre, Davie claimed, on that fateful day Mbwana attacked them in the dead of the night after they had accommodated him in their house.
The gruesome murder of his wife happened in their house in Manje Area (Soche), while the attempt on his life was foiled by neighbours who broke into the house after hearing Davie’s calls for help.
Upon being apprehended, the intruder did not survive the wrath of the neighbours—they crushed him to death.
Two lives lost, just like that.
Limbe Police Station spokesperson Pedzisai Zembeneko, who regretted the deaths, said in an interview on Friday that they were struggling to get to the bottom of it all as Mbwana was also killed by the mob that night.
“We have interviewed Mr Davie, who is in a critical condition at QECH, but we are carrying an investigations to establish the motive of the attack,” Zembeneko said.
A visit by Nation on Sunday at the hospital Friday afternoon found Davie not able to grant an interview— visibly in pain and his beddings soaked in blood.
His brother, Mark Kandiero, who was the guardian, said Davie—who lives at Chiswe in Chigumula area—and Mbwana were long-time friends.
Kandiero, who claimed one of the knife stabs pierced Davie’s lungs, said his brother had explained that Mbwana asked for accommodation because he had picked a quarrel with his wife.
“My brother offered him the accommodation and around 8pm, he showed up at my brother’s residence in Manje. He was shown a bedroom to sleep,” Kandiero explained.
He said during the night, Mbwana called Davie on his mobile, which led to Davie going into the room that Mbwana was sleeping.
“Upon entering the room, he says his friend complained that he had been bitten by something in the neck. As my brother bent down to search on the floor what that could be, Mbwana hit him with a panga at the back of his neck.
“My brother shouted for help, but his assailant continued to stab him in different parts of the body. Calls for help prompted his wife to rush into the room,” he said.
Upon opening the door, Kandiero said, the assailant jumped on Davie’s wife and stabbed her in the stomach and three times in the neck.
According to Kandiero and police, Davie’s wife died on the spot.
Responding to Davie’s calls for help, Kandiero and Zembeneko said neighbours broke into the house and found Mbwana still struggling with Davie whose wife was lying lifeless, blood oozing.
Z embeneko said a neighbourhood watch group apprehended Mbwana and were arranging to take him to police.
But when the angry mob realized that Davie’s wife was dead as she and her husband were being rushed to hospital, they wrestled Mbwana from the neighbourhood group members and stoned him to death.
According to police, Davie and Mbwana were vending near Police Training School in Limbe.
Davie comes from Lorani Village Traditional Authority (T/A) Thomas in Thyolo whereas his wife, who was laid to rest yesterday, came from Doko Village, T/A Mlolo in Nsanje.
The incident has shocked the Manje residents who are failing to understand why Mbwana had to turn on his friend, kill his wife and also attempt to murder him.
“The man was simply too callous. How can you do that to a friend who offered you a shelter?
What motive did he have? Just to steal? This is unbelievable.
May be there is something we are missing in all this,” moaned a neighbour who did not want to be identified.