By Nqobile Tshili
In a fit of rage, a man from Sizinda suburb in Bulawayo allegedly beat his son to death with an iron bar for breaking a neighbour’s window before attempting to commit suicide by drinking a pesticide.
Joseph Phiri allegedly fatally struck his son Adam, a Form Two pupil at a city school, on Saturday and downed rogor pesticide when he realised the boy was not breathing.
Phiri has since been arrested and is recovering at Mpilo Central Hospital under police guard.
The Chronicle yesterday visited Phiri’s residence where mourners are gathered.
However, none of the family members were at home as they were said to have visited the suspect in hospital while others were busy with burial arrangements.
A neighbour who spoke on condition of anonymity said Phiri allegedly killed his son while scolding him for breaking a window pane at a neighbour’s house.
“It’s disciplinary action gone wrong. It’s senseless how he attacked and killed his child. We are told that his son had broken a neighbour’s window pane resulting in the neighbour approaching Phiri and telling him to reprimand his son.
“Phiri told the neighbour that Adam had been giving him problems and vowed to fix him. He savagely attacked his son all over his body with an iron bar, killing him in the process,” said the neighbour.
The informant said upon realising that he had been too heavy-handed when the boy stopped moving, Phiri drank poisonous rogor pesticide to commit suicide.
“However, he did not die. I’m not sure who found him and saved his life. I really do not understand why a father would beat his son excessively with an iron bar. I know children can be a menace to us parents but do we have to go to the extremes just to reprimand them?” asked the source.
Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele could not be reached for comment. The Chronicle