A grief-stricken Lameck Brande, the father to four children killed by their mother in Chivhu on Tuesday said he never thought his wife would kill their children over a marital dispute.
Brande’s wife, Emelda Marazani, has admitted she slit the throats of her four children with a knife at the family’s Hillsview house before setting the house on fire, with the bodies of two of the children being burnt beyond recognition. The children are Amanda (9), Yolander (5), Ayender (3) and Galender (1).
The four bodies are all in Chivhu General Hospital mortuary awaiting postmortem.
In an interview in Chivhu yesterday, Brande who could not stop crying, said it was better if her wife had killed him instead. His wife had told him before, during a previous misunderstanding, that she would leave him with nothing.
The tension between them started when her wife saw a suspicious message from his phone, which also led her to destroy his mobile phones. Brande said he thought the issue was over, and did not suspect she would kill the children.
“There was a time, during our petty misunderstanding when she openly told me that ndoda kusiya pano usina chinhu, I want to leave you here with nothing. To me, I thought she was going to hurt me. I never thought she would harm, let alone kill, our children.
“I do not know what had got into my wife. It was better if she had done it on me or had just destroyed the house; we would build another one,” Brande said, while fighting hard to control his shaking voice.
Reports are that Brande and Marazani had a marital dispute and the latest reports indicate Marazani had put the children in different rooms and tied the elder ones with a rope before killing them. She then set the ten-roomed house on fire, starting the fire in her bedroom.
She proceeded to the garage where she attempted to set on fire a Honda Fit parked there but failed. A dozen spent match-sticks were scattered at the front seat of the vehicle with the top cover of the driver’s seat burnt.
She then locked all doors of the house and the gate and went out.
Neighbours who saw smoke rising from the house questioned her on what was taking place at her but she assured them that all was well. She is said to have then run off towards Chivhu town centre.
“When I heard that the house was in flames, I was at the shop and I quickly rushed home. I looked everywhere for the children but could not see any. Together with my friends, we managed to break burglar bars of one of the windows and I rushed in. When I entered one of the rooms, I found two of my children covered in blankets and as I tried to pull them out, I discovered that their throats were slit. Vaiva vakachekwa muhuro nebanga zvakare vaiva vatofa.
“I managed to pull them out. I proceeded to the other rooms and found my two elder daughters already burnt, they were tied with a rope.
“When I heard that their mother had gone out running, I drove to the police station to make a report, thinking that after making a report I will then start searching for her. I was surprised to see her already at the police station. She told me there that she had killed our children. She then said that she had drank poison. In no time, she collapsed and I poured her some water and she gained conscious. I then used my car to rush her to hospital.” –Herald Zimbabwe.