By Victor Maphosa
A grief-stricken Lameck Brande, the father to four children killed by their mother in Chivu 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, Mr Brande who could not stop crying, said it was better if his 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 his wife saw a suspicious message from his phone, which also led her to destroy his mobile phones. Mr 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,” Mr Brande said, while fighting hard to control his shaking voice.
Reports are that Mr 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.”
The Herald went to Chivhu General Hospital where Marazani is recovering from the poison.
At first Marazani, who is close to seven months pregnant, said she did not regret killing her children.
However, as she continued to narrate the incident to Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro, who had paid her a visit, she began sobbing uncontrollably before revealing that she was remorseful and ashamed of her actions.
Though she blamed her husband for the tragedy, Marazani said she is pained by the death of her children.
She vowed that if she is going to be blessed with another child, since she is pregnant, she will take good care of him or her at all costs.
“Yes I was angry. But I am now hurting. I know I deserve to be in jail. However, my husband is to blame. Anokoshesa mahure ake. Zvakare akandiudza kuti iye haazvare vana vasikana uyezve ane mwana wake mukomana ari kuBulawayo, akati ava (vasikana) havasi vana vake,akatizve ini handina basa pano chero ndikaenda haana basa nazvo,”
“So since I am the one who carried these children in my womb for nine months, I decided to kill them out of hurt. I did a wrong thing and my heart is in pain but it is now water under the bridge,” she said.
Chivhu General Hospital medical superintendent doctor Alice Kanyemba said Mazarani is in stable condition.
“She was admitted here with a history that she had taken two tablets of rat poison. She is stable and under police guard.”
The four bodies will be released for burial once the postmortem is finished. The Herald