The Sunday Mail
An emaciated Wadzanai lay writhing in pain in her bedraggled hospital bed.
She was surrounded by close relatives who could only watch helplessly while shaking their heads in disbelief.
Meanwhile, they all waited for the bell to signal the end of visiting hour.
So dire was the situation that most of her relatives could be seen shedding tears.
They were all praying for the restoration of the widow’s health.
Wadzanai — a mother of four — was admitted to a hospital that could not supply her with medication. Her family members were neither united nor rich enough to buy the medicines from elsewhere or transfer her to a better facility.
Bananas, apples, oranges and other fruits that had been brought by relatives were shrivelling and attracting flies since she could no longer chew and swallow.
Touched by the poor widow’s condition, her well-heeled cousin Charles offered to transfer her to a private hospital and foot the bill.
Unfortunately, Wadzanai passed on before the transfer request could be processed, and all hell broke loose.
“I smell a rat. There is something fishy here. How can someone stay alive for three weeks without medication and die the moment help comes? It means the guy has a bad heart,” screamed Wadzanai’s younger sister, Eldred.
“These people with lots of money are killers. Akaiwanepi mari mwana mudoko akadaro? Charles has muti and please let me never set my eyes on him because I will gut him like a fish,” she said while swept by the tide of emotion.
Wadzanai’s eldest son, Donald, completely lost it. He seized his uncle Charles’ hand and dragged him out of the hospital and temporarily turned his body into a punching bag.
He slapped the bemused uncle repeatedly before flooring him with a polished left hook.
It only took strong men who were in the hospital queue to restrain him.
All this time, Wadzanai’s younger sister Eldred was hurling expletives at Charles, blaming him for causing her sister’s death.
“Let him get a thorough hiding; he deserves it. He must be beaten hard to leave the blood-sucking business he has started. Where on earth do you find someone amassing wealth at a time when almost everyone is wallowing in poverty?
“His riches are difficult to explain and if he had not offered us his help, I do not think that my beloved sister would have died,” she ranted.
That Wadzanai was HIV positive and had lost her husband to HIV and Aids-related complications was never taken into account.
Only God knew Charles was being punished for a crime he did not commit.
Such are the challenges well-heeled people are facing in most families. While almost everyone wants to be successful and lead a comfortable life, achieving it comes with its own challenges.
The moment one starts living large, rumours of them dabbling in muti and all the ills associated with the underworld start flying around.
“Akaromba”, “Ane nyoka inorutsa mari,” “Ane chikwambo”, “Ane n’anga yake”, “Muroyi” and “Anazvo” are the kind of words used to describe wealthy people.
There are countless rich people who are so kind-hearted that they cannot kill even a fly but they are labelled witches and killers all the same. Rich people do not have peace in their families. Every illness and death is linked to them.
The moment someone achieves success, it is as if they have committed a crime.
Some people saddle their well-heeled brothers and sisters with bills from the beginning to the end of each month as if they do not have financial commitments of their own.
And the way some people behave the moment they are given food and clothing by their relatives boggles the mind.
They take these goods to prophets and diviners to get assurance whether these things will be safe. Also, a good number of people do not enjoy the company of their rich relatives for fear of being used in alleged rituals and sacrifices.
Some people go to the extent of barring their children from playing with those from affluent homes fearing they would be initiated into cults. Being rich is good but it is not without challenges.
Derogatory songs are sung for rich people each time there is a bereavement in the family.
“Ndimi makauraya, ndimi makauraya, hazvina mhosva pahukama” you hear people singing and pointing fingers at a rich person.
Gentle reader, if people visit a rich relative’s house, they often refuse to sleep over or eat and at times they will be trying by all means to establish the source of wealth and where the perceived muti is hidden.
With the harsh economic climate we are wading through, it is inconceivable to see someone throwing goodies down the river, but some people do so the moment they are given money by someone rich.
Society must change the way it looks at the rich if the family unit is to remain intact.