Chivhu killer mother convicted after killing her 4 kids to spite cheating husband; court rejects insanity plea, calls her ‘cruel, heartless’

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By Mary Taruvinga

A CHIVHU woman who callously murdered her four children to get even with her cheating husband has been found guilty and convicted by the High Court

Emelda Marizani was convicted by Justice Munamato Mutevedzi following a full trial during which she denied the allegations blaming mental health problems.

The judge trashed her defence, describing her as a cruel and unfeeling woman who cut short four young lives in cold blood in a case that shook the nation in 2020.

She now awaits sentencing next Friday.

In delivering his verdict, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi said it was traumatising to imagine what the four girls went through as their mother ended their lives one after the other.

The court concluded that Marazani had long planned to kill her children, the reason she had an up-to-date funeral policy, only for them.

Mutevedzi also said it was clear that Marizani was not sincere that she also wanted to end her life because she had every opportunity to do so but saved herself.

“She did not explain why she was keeping rat poison in the car,” said the judge.

“The only inference we can draw is that she had long planned to kill her children.

“In this case all her actions are completely inexplicable. Her behaviour is because of the acrimony which already existed between her and her husband.

“The accused admits in her statement and oral evidence that she killed her children to spite her husband. She wanted to leave him with nothing they had accumulated together.

It is very unfortunate she considered her children to be part of their acquisitions.

The judge continued; “She took funeral insurance for all her children and that, in our view, leaves us to doubt she really wanted to commit suicide.

The Marizani family before tragedy struck

If she indeed wanted to kill herself she had all the opportunity but she did not put more effort on that as she did with her children.

She gave herself an opportunity to live. She said she looked for a wire to hang herself. She could have used any other alternative or would have let herself be consumed in the inferno she had started.

“She was clearly afraid of the fire. It is our view that she used her children as pawns to spite her husband. She killed them thinking she will then get even with her husband and girlfriend.

The way she explained everything is shocking and it becomes difficult to accept that she wasn’t aware of what she was up to.

Marizani would break down during the trial and also throughout the reading of her verdict with the court asking her to order her to sit down.

However the judge said this did not prove she was hurt by the death of her children.

We accept that shedding tears is not the only way to express emotional pain. Your actions typifies a woman who is heartless. 

“One can kill her own child but when one goes to kill four it shows that she was determined to do so.

“From the totality we conclude that the accused failed to prove she was mentally handicapped when she killed her children. The medical evidence was totally unreliable.

“It is on that basis that we are convinced that the State has managed to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt and the accused is found guilty and convicted in all four murder counts.”

Marizani had admitted killing all her children but insisted that she was mentally unstable when she committed the offence.

Two doctors who examined her concurred but their evidence was trashed for being shallow.

One doctor concluded she was not mentally handicapped when she committed the offence.

Marizani also submitted, in her defence, that her paternal relatives had a history of mental illness.

This was however dismissed because no evidence was tendered to support the claim.

Marizani killed the children after a long dragging marital dispute, spanning over 10 years with her husband.

On the fateful day, she took rat poison and went on to lace her children’s juice with the same.

She then put them to bed and went on to slit their throats during their sleep before she set her family house on fire.

Marizani then handed herself over to the police and was rushed to hospital where she was resuscitated.

At that time, she was heavily pregnant with her fifth child who is the only one surviving.