LIKE many other countries, Zambia has in the recent past continued to witness people losing lives or being scorched, maimed at the hands of those they love.
In short, incidents of what is called crimes of passion have continued to be on the increase in Zambia.
Meanwhile, some people are fulfilling the vow ‘Till death do us part’ interpreting it literally, since a good number of them also kill themselves after taking the life of their partners.
In the Bible book 2 samuel:11, King David, who was driven by the act of lust, committed adultery with a woman called Bathsheba.
And then in the process he committed murder when he sent her husband Uriah to be in the fore-front of a battle field so that he could carry out his mission and the man was killed in the process.
In Kapiri Mposhi, a 27-year-old man was beaten to death after he was allegedly found committing adultery with the wife of another family member.
Then we have another grisly killing of three members of the same family who were axed to death in Libuko village in Chongwe in 2012 in what was suspected to be a crime of passion.
Police deputy spokesperson then Charity Chanda said the deceased, Vincent Tembo, died along with his two children while his wife survived the gruesome attack.
The three victims died when the suspect, an ex-convict, was alleged to have had an affair with the deceased’s wife, Memory.
Recently, a 38-year-old married man of Matero shot his girl-friend at a bar and later on turned the gun on himself after a dispute between the two.
In South Africa, Olympic and Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius is alleged to be among the list of people who killed their partners when he allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
He stands accused of committing premeditated murder on Valentine’s Day by firing four shots at Steenkamp with a 9mm pistol through a locked toilet door at his luxury home in Pretoria.
Was it premeditated murder of crimes of passion?
Despite repeated calls by the police for members of the public not to take the law into their own hands no matter how provoked they are, this has not stopped.
An international lawyer, who has represented a number of people accused of beating their partners, says most of them plead temporary insanity to justify their acts.
“Most of these people plead temporary insanity which is fuelled by jealousy and rage, saying their sane side is completely dwarfed at the moment they discover the betrayal,” she says.
Infidelity has also continued to be on the increase hence contributing to these murders.
Sociologists have attributed the increase of infidelity in marriages to industrialisation which they say has destroyed society’s traditional extended family set-up.
Because of industrialisation, there is too much infidelity and marriages are disintegrating and traditional norms and values need to be re-introduced.
While society has accepted that men can have more than one wife, the opposite is the same with the womenfolk.
Infidelity, especially by women, has been recognised by some experts as the number one cause of domestic violence.
Just as the Bible says, sleeping with another man’s wife is like taking a burning log and putting it on your chest!
Aggrieved spouses usually resort to meting out their own “justice” on cheating spouses increasingly due to their inability to manage anger emotions, leading to the death of one or both spouses and a third party in some instances.
As the Bible rightly says in Proverbs 6: 26, “For on account of a prostitute one is brought down to a loaf of bread, but the wife of another man preys on your precious life,”.
“Can a man walk on hot coals without scorching his feet? So it is with the one who has sex with his neighbor’s wife; no one who touches her will escape punishment.
“For jealousy kindles a husband’s rage, and he will not show mercy when he takes revenge. He will not consider any compensation; he will not be willing, even if you multiply the compensation,” the Bible says.
The surest way to avoid crimes of passion is for marriage partners to remain faithful to their spouses even when they lose their source of livelihood.
Both men and women need to be content with what they have. The partners who are cheated on usually bottle up issues that have to do with the infidelity just to explode on a least expected day.
As the experts say, conflict resolution in the home is practically impossible because extended families are now staying far apart.
“The other thing is that men do not have an emotional out-let so they end up being violent if they ever discover that their wives were cheating on them.Unfortunately when this happens, someone may die,” the experts say.
Some members of the public think that abolishing lobola (dowry) payments will reduce the rage men experience when their wives cheat on them.
Aaron Sell, senior lecturer of criminology and criminal justice at Griffith University, told news.com.au that when “jealousy or anger” completely shuts down a person’s ability to see reason, they are unable to determine how costly an event could be on their future.
Police have implored members of the public who have domestic issues to seek counselling instead of confronting each other when emotions are still high.
Members of the public should not take matters into their own hands and act on impulse.
Other members of the public feel that a lot of men abuse their wives psychologically, mentally and otherwise and when they want to leave the marriage, they threaten to kill them.
“Some men will not beat you, but are controlling and say things to demean and control you,” they said.
Some people feel that those who go for other people’s wives don’t deserve to live.
But the point is that if one is not happy in their marriage or relationship, they are at liberty to leave since they have a choice to do so to avoid causing a crime or losing their lives in the process.
Most of the women and men are said to be engaging in adultery because they are not getting marital satisfaction from their matrimonial homes.Hence they go after other people’s husband’s.
Whatever the excuse the truth is that crimes of passion threaten our society. To address this, we have to deal with the root cause, that is infidelity.
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