Chivhu mum who killed her four daughters says she saved them from being mistreated by stepmother; narrates ordeal at hands of abusive husband after family got into money

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By Erica Jecha

A Chivhu woman who killed her four minor daughters in cold blood in 2020 stunned a Harare court Wednesday after she said what she did was the best for them.

Emelda Marizani was giving evidence in her defence hearing before High Court judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi.

Marizani killed her four children and attempted to kill herself without winning after a row with her husband.

When the defence hearing started, Marizani said killing her children saved them from potential abuse by a woman who was going to be married to their father after she was gone.

“On the day of the tragedy, I first took rat poison in the form of pills and called my children to do the same and instructed them to sleep,” she calmly narrated.

“I was out of breath, when I then figured there was a slight chance that my children would survive and decided to cut their throats with a knife.

“I did this because I did not want my children to suffer and grow up miserably in my absence like I did,” she said.

She narrated how she had a miserable and poverty stricken upbringing as an only child; being of no fixed aboard and having no permanent guardian after her parents separated when she was in Grade 5.


Marizani said she was in an abusive marriage with husband Lameck Brande who started mistreating her after they had accumulated ‘wealth’.

She said they had properties including a Honda Fit, a housing stand that has a two-roomed cottage, a 10-roomed house and a vibrant grocery shop in Chivhu.

“We started from scratch, with practically nothing. We were both struggling when we got married and we were happy. The problems started when we started amassing wealth. He became physically abusive and was involved in extra marital affairs with several women,” Marazani claimed.

She indicated that they were constantly fighting, adding she had suffered in silence for a long time; and only began retaliating not long before the murder.

Her mother, Marai Mupini and her maternal aunt, Eunice Mutukwa also defended her.

They told court she had maternal love for her children and were shocked that she was capable of killing them and that her paternal family had a known history of mental instabilities.

A State witness, Dr Patrick dismissed claims that Marazani was mentally unstable.

In his testimony, he alleged that he stood by his medical report that indicated she was in her right state of mind when she killed her daughters.

Marazani however maintained that there was no existence of external forces in committing the crime but that it was out of pure love for her daughters.

Judgement has been reserved.