A STRANGER hacked three children, all girls, to death with an axe in Masvingo, after wounding their mother and sending their father fleeing. Police are trying to find a motive for the gruesome killings in Zaka, shortly after midnight on Tuesday. Munyaradzi Kudzidzvara, 39, of Gonovi Village under Chief Chikwanda allegedly travelled some 60km to Zimhungu Village under Chief Ndanga where he slaughtered siblings Lettecia Dzinorumwa, 8, Margret, 4, and Loina, 2, with an axe. So excessive was the force he used, said the children’s grief stricken father Ernest Dzinorumwa, that the axe was left stuck in the head of the youngest child.
Inspector Charity Mazula of Masvingo police said Kudzidzvara arrived at the Dzinorumwa’s homestead in Zaka while Dzinorumwa was attending to a call of nature outside the yard. Dzinorumwa yelled at the stranger, attracting his wife Angela Kwangwari, 30, who came outside to investigate.
Kudzidzvara, The Chronicle was told, picked up an axe resting against the wall of one of the huts and struck Angela on the head and left shoulder, leaving her for dead. Kudzidzvara then chased after Dzinorumwa who was screaming for help.
Insp Mazula said: “I can confirm receiving a report of murder where a man killed three girls from the same family in Zaka. He also attacked the mother. The suspect has been arrested and is assisting police with investigations.”
When The Chronicle visited the Dzinorumwa family in Zimhungu Village on Wednesday, Kwangwari — who was still in pain — had been prematurely discharged from hospital to attend her children’s burials. She was unable to talk.
The burial of the three children was scheduled for yesterday afternoon in the same village. Dzinorumwa said he is finding it hard to come to terms with the tragedy. “I’m still in shock because I gallantly fought this armed man. He picked an axe behind my bedroom door, struck my wife and ran after me, threatening to kill me,” he said.
His dazed wife staggered to a bedroom hut where the children were sleeping and locked the door. Dzinorumwa said Kudzidzvara — who is unknown to him — went back and broke down the locked door before gaining entry. “He dragged my children out before striking them with an axe leaving their skulls open. All my three daughters were killed in a cruel manner,” he said, fighting back tears.
“Kudzidzvara could’ve dragged Lettecia and Margret outside, a few metres from the hut before killing them. I believe that’s where they were murdered since there was no sign of blood in the hut. Their bodies were left lying in a pool of blood.
“He left the axe embedded in Loina’s head. He dragged her body for about 60 metres from the yard, apparently in a failed attempted to remove the axe.” Chief Ndanga said the blood-curdling murder had terrified villagers. He dismissed claims by some villagers that Kudzidzvara was mentally unstable.
“My people are devastated and frightened. We’ve never witnessed such an African-movie-kind of incident. We wonder why this evil visited us,” said the chief. Judging by the way he was responding when he was questioned by the police, said the traditional leader, Kudzidzvara is of sound mind.
“Anyone who suggests otherwise may be lost. We’ll engage his family so that they help in cleansing the homestead to rid my area of bad omen,” said the chief.