Haunted murderer Jorum Siwela, who spent 22 years of sleepless nights in prison, was yesterday freed on amnesty and immediately embarked on a hunt for the victim’s family to apologise and compensate for the loss.
Siwela, a former Chapungu Football Club player, believes avenging spirits were tormenting him as his emissaries failed to locate his victim’s family members for over a decade.
He killed his rival suitor 22 years ago.
Siwela claims violent nightmares, and images of the murder he committed back in 1998, flash in his sleep.
“Most of the times I find it difficult to sleep,” he said.
“I always dream of the person I killed. The name of the victim was Ullistas Mukowachimwe. Sometimes he appears in my dreams, talking to me. He will be asking me why I killed him.
“At times I am beaten up by people who I do not see. I feel someone is beating me up so hard despite the fact that I will be alone in a room. The problem that I am facing now is to locate his relatives, my parents have been trying to find them, but without success.”
Sources said the victim’s father and sibling were murdered a few months after Siwela’s arrest, making it difficult for his emissaries to locate the relatives.
Another uncle to the deceased, who also lived in Gweru, reportedly vanished without a trace.
Siwela was sentenced to life, but he finally tested freedom yesterday, courtesy of the recently amended Clemency Order gazetted last week.
Speaking after release, Siwela said he had already embarked on a search for the victim’s relatives with a view to apologising and compensating them.
He told The Herald that he was still in a psychological prison and looking for the victim’s family members was his priority.
“I strongly believe the spirit of the man I killed is haunting me and my release will assist me in locating the victim’s relatives to enable us to perform some rituals and to compensate them for the loss,” he said.
“I have already embarked on a search and I will only rest when I find his relatives. I regret my actions. I committed the offence when I was still young and I am sorry for the suffering I have caused his family members.
“I am ready to compensate the victim’s family with the assistance of some well-wishers who have since offered to assist me financially.”
Siwela said he committed the offence early 1998, while fighting over a girlfriend.
“I had a girlfriend who stayed in Mkoba 16 in Gweru,” he said. “One day, I boarded a Chapungu FC bus from a training session and dropped off in Mkoba with the intention to see my girlfriend.
“I was with my friend. We found the girl in the company of three other men. When we were about to hug, one of the three confronted me demanding to know why I was hugging her. I told him that the girl was my lover.
“The man warned me against visiting the neighbourhood again, saying he was also in a relationship with the same girl. A fight broke out, resulting in him producing a knife. I managed to overpower the man and grabbed the knife from him. I then stabbed him on the chest.
“It was hard for me to accept that I had killed someone, even today I am finding it hard to believe it.”
Siwela committed the offence when he was 19-years-old and stayed in prison for 22 years.
He thanked President Mnangagwa for the amnesty, saying he was now a changed person.
“I want to thank President Mnangagwa for pardoning me,” he said. “I thought I would die in prison, but he found it fit to set me free, giving me another chance.
“May the good Lord abundantly bless our President and his family. I have reformed and I will never commit a criminal offence again.”