Bashed daughter-in-law hires soldiers to avenge assault for ditching hubby

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By Mary Taruvinga

A HARARE woman who ganged up with her children to beat up her daughter-in-law and some police officers got more than what they bargained for when she went on to invite some soldiers to avenge the abuse.

Caroline Bhidhi (50) appeared in court together with her children Careen (18), Cedrick (31) and Simon (35) Samuriwo for beating up 19-year-old Michelle Nhakaniso accusing her of ditching her son.

Nhakaniso was married to Cedrick with who they had a domestic dispute which resulted in her abandoning the couple’s home for her parents’ home in Borrowdale, Harare.

The accused family, which also stays in Borrowdale, is said to have followed her up and bashed her.

Bhidhi is also said to have spit on the daughter-in-law before grabbing her minor grandchild away from her.

She and her children were hauled before a Harare court facing physical abuse charges as well as an assault of peace officers charge after they bashed police officers who had responded to the daughter-in-law’s report.

Harare magistrate Tilda Mazhande remanded them out of custody on $100 bail each.

Things came to a head September 16 this year when Nhakaniso told her husband that she no longer loved him.

This was two days after she left her matrimonial home.

Angered by the developments, court heard Cedrick and his siblings teamed up and went to Nhakaniso’s parents’ place where they attacked her before they took her child away.

Nhakaniso reported the case to the police who went to her in-laws’ home where they unsuccessfully tried to arrest the quartet.

Court heard Bhidhi and her children went on to bash the two officers, Silence Chikiwira (28) and Enia Makumbo (29).

Overpowered, the two officers took to their heels back to Borrowdale police station and brought back some reinforcement.

Court further heard the police still struggled to arrest the four and only managed to do so after a scuffle which lasted several minutes.

But the four, through their lawyer, said they were, in fact, the victims in the case.

They raised complaints against the police and Nhakaniso claiming that she hired some military police officers who were manning a nearby roadblock to assault them.

“The police went berserk and bashed everyone at the accused’ place of residence,” said a family lawyer.

“The complainant personally hired some military police officers who were manning a roadblock and they terrorised the accused persons.

“We all know when the army should be involved, not in these petty domestic issues.

“Even the president is on record distancing himself from the August 1 incident when six people were gunned down by soldiers. The president said no one commanded the military to go on the streets but we are shocked they could do such a thing of bashing unarmed family members. We begin to wonder what kind of army we have in this country.”

Prosecuting, Devoted Nyagano Gwashavanhu however argued these were mere allegations adding that the accused could simply have reported the case.

“These are triable issues. The police reported a case against the accused and they can also do the same,” she said.

The case remanded to October 8 for trial.