The Sunday News
Sharon Chimenya, Masvingo Correspondent
A 32-year-old Mwenezi woman gruesomely axed her husband and their three-year-old daughter leaving axes stuck in their heads before committing suicide following a heated misunderstanding over who should take care of the family, police have confirmed.
Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa told Sunday News that Simbarashe Butete (32) of Paringura Village, Chief Neshuro and his three-year-old girl child were killed in cold blood after a misunderstanding with Florence Nhotito, his wife and mother to the child who later committed suicide.
The incident occurred in Mwenezi.
“On 2 January at around 7am Butete had a misunderstanding with his wife Nhotito who was accusing him of not taking care of his family. This was happening in the presence of their eight-year-old son who Nhotito later sent to her mother in-law Jerida Zvakare (65) to fetch firewood. While he was still there, it is suspected that the argument got heated and out of rage, Nhotito struck her husband who was in the bedroom with an axe in the head leaving it stuck and proceeded to take another axe and did the same to her three-year-old daughter who was on the sofa,” said Insp Dhewa.
He said after committing the heinous crime, Nhotito left the house and went to her brother’s home where her 14-year-old daughter was staying.
She told the teenager to take care of her eight-year-old brother and that she had killed their father and little sister before disappearing into the bush.
Nhotito was later found hanging from a tree three kilometres from her house in the next village.
The bodies were taken to Rutenga Hospital for post-mortem. Butete had a deep cut on the left side of the head with the axe stuck on the right side while the baby had a deep cut on the back of the head and the axe was also stuck on the side of the head.
Insp Dhewa urged members of the public not to settle their differences when they are angry and should always seek mediators.
“We urge members of the public to seek intervention from mediators or approach the nearest police and seek counselling from the community liaison officer, or the Victim Friendly Unit or they can approach community leaders,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, Irene Sithole (6) of Village 3 Chomutamba, Chief Mazetese, Mwenezi was beaten to death and had parts removed from her body before it was set alight by her uncle Taruziva Sithole (37) after she had lost cattle she was herding.
Sources say Sithole started beating his niece together with the boy that was accompanying her after they could not give a satisfactory answer as to where they were when they lost the cattle. After Sithole had recovered the herd he followed Irene home where he continued beating her until she was unconscious.
“When Sithole discovered that Irene was dead, he took her to his bedroom hut where he put the deceased in a ‘shangani’ bag before leaving the house to a nearby bush. He was assisted by Shakemore Dube who is the younger brother to the deceased’s father. They allegedly removed private parts from the girl’s body which they intended to sell in South Africa. The case is in court now,” said the source.