The mother of a three-year-old boy who was allegedly killed by his police officer father has gone into hiding saying she fears the cop could kill her as well.
Albert Nhenda (33), a Constable in the Echo Troop ZRP Support Unit stationed at Fairbridge Police Camp in Bulawayo, was arrested last Friday after allegedly making a false police report that his son, Makhosiwonke, fell on steps which are about 30 centimetres high at the entrance to his home in Mpopoma suburb.
The incident happened on Wednesday last week after Nhenda had allegedly sent Ms Ndlovu to the city centre to purchase clothes for their child since she had visited with one set of clothes.
He also allegedly sent their landlady to buy some drinks at Total shops.
Ms Ndlovu’s family believes it could have been a ploy to remove everyone around him so that he could strangle his son without witnesses.
A postmortem done at the United Bulawayo Hospitals established that the cause of death was strangulation and asphyxia, not falling down the stairs.
The Chronicle tracked down Ms Catherine Ndlovu, the mother of the child, after a relentless four day investigation.
In an exclusive interview from her hideout, she said she had changed phone numbers and did not want Nhenda to find out where she was staying.
“I’m sure he killed my son because he has tried to kill him thrice before,” Ms Ndlovu said.
“I got goose bumps last year when he called me and suggested we should kill our son. I was angry and he then laughed it off and claimed it was a joke”.
Ms Ndlovu said the incident never left her mind and she even told her relatives about it.
“The second time he drove off the road when we were going to my rural home in Filabusi. He immediately suggested that we should take the boy to a doctor for a check up because he has small lungs. I refused because he was alright. Thinking back, I suspect he had arranged with a doctor to kill him,” she said choking back sobs.
Ms Ndlovu said on the same day, Nhenda allegedly poisoned their son and the boy was admitted for four days at Filabusi District Hospital.
“It was touch and go and he survived by the grace of God. Deep in my heart I know he poisoned Makhosiwonke. I blame myself for not acting. Now he has killed him,” she said before going quiet for about a minute as tears flowed freely down her cheeks.
Ms Ndlovu, who is in hiding, said she has been going to Western Commonage Court to attend Nhenda’s court sessions with a group of relatives for protection.
She said she was not called in to testify but on Monday she was surprised to hear he had been granted bail.
“We were told he has appeared in court four times. I suspect irregularities and hope Nhenda and his friends will not try to block justice,” Ms Ndlovu said.
She said Nhenda impregnated her in 2016 and disappeared.
“He only showed up when he wanted to kill our baby. I have cracked my head in vain to find his motive and have been forced to conclude he is plain evil. We have never asked for maintenance or money from him,” she said her voice finally cracking.
Ms Ndlovu said she fears that Nhenda will steal Makhosiwonke’s body and bury it without her consent since he has the boy’s birth certificate.
“He has not yet formally informed my family about the death of our child. Already he is planning his burial. This is the highest level of disrespect and I pray that one day God punishes him for all the pain he has caused me and my family,” she said.
The Chronicle traced Ms Ndlovu’s family at Thandanani Village in Filabusi on Tuesday and they said they suspected Nhenda had killed the boy.
Makhosiwonke’s grandmother, who asked not to be named, said she was finding it difficult to come to terms with her grandson’s death.
“I feel as if I am dreaming and I will wake up to be told otherwise. It was cruel of Nhenda to kill his own son in cold blood. Does he have a heart?” she asked.
“I had spoken to Makhosi on the phone at around 3PM and we joked and laughed as usual, proof that my grandson was okay. It was around 5 PM that I got the message that Makhosi was severely injured and needed urgent attention. I was shocked.
“I had a feeling that something fishy had happened as this was not the first time Nhenda has proven to be homicidal,” said the elderly woman.
The whole family said they are now living on the edge and the fear of not knowing what will happen next is straining them.
“If Nhenda can kill one of his own, his son on top of that, what will stop him from coming after us since we are exposing his evil doing. Right now we are all sleeping with one eye open; fearing that one of his cronies might attack us,” said Makhosiwonke’s grandfather.
“When he thought we would ask him for maintenance, he told us that we should raise $600 for DNA tests and that was disrespectful of him. We left him alone and took care of our daughter and grandson without claiming any damages”.
Another relative said he suspected Nhenda was married and killing his love child could be a way of saving his marriage.
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