Judge to Deliver Verdict in Trial of Woman Who Poisoned and Beheaded Her Four Children
A woman who killed her four daughters and beheaded them claiming it was an act of love faced the Harare High Court on Wednesday. Emelda Marizanhi, 32, from Chivhu, tried to blame her actions on a history of mental illness in her family, but a doctor who examined her found her to be of stable mind.
Marizanhi had poisoned her children in November 2020, and when she thought they might survive, took a knife and beheaded them. She also took the same poison, trying to kill herself but survived.
The defendant claimed that her actions were an act of mercy, fearing that her children would have a miserable life after her husband left her for another woman. Her mother and maternal aunt testified in court that Marizanhi was a loving mother, and they found it difficult to accept that she killed her children. They confirmed a history of mental illness in their family.
On the last day of her trial, Marizanhi took the witness stand and told the court that she feared her children would be mistreated by their stepmother once she was dead. She explained how she had a tough upbringing after her father divorced her mother when she was young, and she did not want her children to go through the same experience.
“I did this because I did not want my children to suffer and grow up miserable in my absence as I did when I was growing up,” she said.
She said after a tough childhood, life became easier when she met her husband, Lameck Brande, and the two were happy in the early years of their marriage. However, they began to have problems once they had acquired immovable and movable properties, including a flourishing business.
According to Marizanhi, Zimlive reports, the money changed her husband, causing him to become abusive and a womaniser, which caused her a lot of stress.
The trial ended on Wednesday, and Justice Munamato Mutevedzi of the Harare High Court will deliver his judgement on Friday. State witness and psychiatrist Dr Patrick Mhaka tendered an affidavit confirming that Marizanhi, in his assessment, had no mental health issues.