Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

PICTURES: Headlands woman kills her three kids with poison before killing self

HEADLANDS – A temperamental Headlands woman drugged her three children with deadly poison and expedited their death by drowning them in a shallow well before committing suicide in an act vindictiveness that has shaken and plunged her usually tranquil community into deep bereavement.

The deceased’s husband Happiness Mhonda
The deceased’s husband Happiness Mhonda

Enia Jinjika (29) of Village 4A in Zambara – after cruelly executing her three children –Harrison (9), Mercy(5) and Tatenda (2) – hanged herself on a Mukute tree that is on front of the garden which had the shallow well in which she had threw the minors. The incident occurred last week Friday around 1am.

The deceased’s husband Happiness Mhonda (38) told Nehanda Radio that his 29-year-old wife often accused him of infidelity and the issue boiled over after he and his brother Mickius Mhonda did not sleep home Thursday evening.

Mhonda claimed he had been hired and slept at Charenzva Business Centre, about 40km away from his home. Jinjika refused to take such an explanation and instead accused Mhonda of cheating on her.

The shallow pool in which the three children were drowned
The shallow pool in which the three children were drowned

The woman then attempted to torch a Toyota Starlet which she accused Mhonda of wheeling with his many girlfriends. The car was parked very close to the grass thatched round bedroom in which Mhonda was asleep.

Mhonda had retired to bed drunk and had the car caught fire, he would have been incinerated in the inferno as his estranged wife had trapped him inside by tightly locking the door from outside.

Mhonda admitted that the car, which he was using to offer driving lessons to some clients in Headlands and Macheke was at the centre of the storm as “my wife misconstrued female teachers I was offering lessons to as my girlfriends”.

“I did know, for the past 12 years that I was married to a cruel and stone-hearted woman. She has hit me where it mattered most,” said Mhonda.

“I never envisage that such a tragedy, instigated my wife, will strike the Mhonda family. All I had is gone. I am a loner. Why? Why? Why? I am finished,” he said with tears welling down his cheeks.

“It is normal for a married couple to quarrel, but to go to the extent of eliminating the entire family on the premise of suspicion, is beyond comprehension. I cannot believe that all my kids are dead.

“If Enia had felt she had lived enough, she must have died alone than killing the kids too. It is like a horror movie – unbelievable,” he added with difficulty.

Mhonda's car that was at the centre of the domestic dispute leading to the tragedy
Mhonda’s car that was at the centre of the domestic dispute leading to the tragedy

Villagers told Nehanda Radio that early this year Jinjika assaulted a female cop at Headlands Police Station, accusing her of improper association with Mhonda.

“I retired to bed drunk and when I wake up around 3am, I discovered her missing on the bed, I later noted that the kids were also missing. I approached the door to investigate where my family was, and discovered that the door had been locked from outside. I became suspicious of what was going on, and smashed it open.

“When I got out, I approached the car thinking that probably my wife and the kids were sleeping in the car in protest as to why I had not slept at home on Thursday evening. I was shocked to discover that the car was on fire,” said Mhonda.

It is suspected that Jinjika took her near lifeless children to a garden about a kilometre away from their homestead and threw them into a shallow well to make sure they are dead.

After ascertaining that the three children we all dead, Jinjika, who had also gulped an unspecified amount of the poison, which, however, failed to kill her, then hanged herself on a Mukute tree in front of the garden.

The mukute tree on which Jinjika hanged herself after killing her kids, has since been chopped in line with the local cultural practice
The mukute tree on which Jinjika hanged herself after killing her kids, has since been chopped in line with the local cultural practice

Her body was the first to be found hanging from a tree during a community search. The bodies of the three children were discovered an hour later – following which a report was lodged at Headlands Police Station.

Headlands police confirmed the incident and said investigations were in progress. The quartet’s bodies are at Rusape General Hospital mortuary – where an autopsy, to authenticate the cause of their death, is expected to be carried out on Tuesday. The burial was on Wednesday.

The deceased’s mother-in-law Mrs Elizabeth Mhonda wept uncontrollably when our news crew arrived at the bereaved family’s homestead.

“What is there to say other than that I am hurt? Why did she kill my grandchildren? Why didn’t she kill herself and spare the children, they were innocent and never deserved to die in such a cruel manner.”

Mrs Charity Mhonda described the couple’s marriage as having been stormy.

“The two were always fighting with Mai Harrison (Jinjika) accusing her husband of having several girlfriends. On Thursday, Happiness and my husband Mickius did not sleep at home. Mickius and Happiness had their car parked at the shopping centre where they were drinking beer the whole night,” she said.

She added that a visibly angry Jinjika came to her homestead complaining about the issue. Mrs Mhonda assured her that their husbands would soon return. Minutes turned to hours and Happiness was nowhere near their home.

This further infuriated Jinjika who bolted to the shopping centre where she had an argument with him. She allegedly bought an unidentified pesticide, which she took home. Happiness and Mickius later came home in the wee hours of the morning after quenching their thirst.

Jinjika’s friend, Mrs Hazvinei Gwenzi said she had for long time tried to counsel her but her efforts were in vain.

“She was short-tampered and would search for her husband each time he did not sleep home or came late. Three weeks ago she told me that she was getting everything from her husband except cash and that the main problem was that Happiness was often not sleeping at home,” she revealed.

More relatives converge to catch a glimpse of the well
More relatives converge to catch a glimpse of the well

A neighbour Mrs Margaret Muswera said last Monday, Jinjika told her about a story she had heard on radio of a Harare woman who had set her husband ablaze before committing suicide following a domestic dispute.

“I told her that although it was a sad case, it was not good but she threatened that she would do it one day. I warned her to desist from that. I think she had planned to do that and the Harare case was only a catalyst,” she added.

Mrs Muswera said she was shocked to hear about the incident. Another neighbour, Mr Richence Nyamudeza said whenever he met Jinjika, she would narrate her marital problems with Happiness.

“She would say that he had several girlfriends and that she was no longer interested in staying with him,” he said.

Some of the villagers said the couple married in 2003 and since then they had been having misunderstandings. They said that a few years ago when they were living in Mutare, Jinjika once disappeared with all the property that was in their home following a dispute. They reunited a few days later.