A wrangle over the deceased’s estate reared its ugly head last Tuesday after a Highfield man amok and destroyed household property hours after burying his wife. Steven Chikanga of 8117, New Canaan stopped the distribution of the deceased’s estate when he ran riot destroying property and insulting his in-laws in the process.
The bereaved family members who were irked by Chikanga’s actions reportedly turned on him and gave him a thrashing. The wife Bernadette Chikanga had been suffering from hypertension for a long period leading to her death. Narrating the ordeal, daughter to the deceased said their father destroyed the house and he was acting as if possessed by evil spirits.
“We buried our mother at Glen Forest on Monday but were so broke and we had to sources from well-wishers. As a custom after burial people visit the grave yard but our father was against that. He started mocking our uncles and other respectable people who were willing to help us. When we pestered him on the grave yard visit, our father became so violent and he punched me leaving my chest in pain. Our father had drawn a demarcation line that he said anyone who crossed it was going to be in hot soup but as a girl I thought nothing was going to happen. When he became violent my brothers intervened and he was assaulted. The incident occurred around 11pm and were taken by the police where we were advised against being violent,” said one of the children.
She added: “Today (Tuesday) we then decided to distribute the things which belonged to my late mother and he insulted my uncles using vulgar language. My uncle was angered by such behaviour and he tried to reprimand him but that turned to be setting the fire ablaze.
My father became so violent that no one could stop him, my father grabbed my uncle and dragged him behind the house where he injured him on the forehead using a sharp object. He left him with a deep cut. The wall was splattered with blood. He was however arrested before chasing us away from home. We are now living in fear because we don’t know how it is going to end if he is released by the police.”
Another close family member (name withheld) said:
”It all started when the children and their father had an altercation over the distribution of the estate. He was insulting people who were trying to distribute household property of the deceased using vulgar language. He was beaten by his children and they were later taken by the police in a bid to end violence which could have resulted in more bad news. Chikanga believes the death of his wife was because of foul play and the children are accusing him of using juju in order to acquire wealth.
Right now he has a child who is mentally disturbed and he is currently staying at the psychiatric home at Harare Central Hospital. He is here because he had come for the burial of his mother. When his wife was on the death-bed. Chikanga was demanding that she be discharged from hospital to seek assistance from traditional healers but his request was never granted. She was suffering from hypertension and nothing more but he just believed she had been bewitched by her relatives,” said the relative.
Efforts to get a comment from Chikanga were futile as he was locked up at Machipisa police station.