A Chivhu woman who beheaded her four children in 2020 recently told the court that she wanted to kill herself and feared that they were going to be abused by a stepmother after she was gone.
Emelda Marizanhi is accused of feeding her four children with rat poison before cutting off their heads following a dispute with her husband.
Through her lawyers, Marizanhi told the court that she was mentally unstable when she committed the offence.
She argued that her condition is hereditary since there is a history of mental illness in her family.
Marizanhi’s mother, Marai Mupini and her maternal aunt, Eunice Mutukwa also defended her telling the court she was in fact a loving mother.
Relatives also claimed that there is a history of mental illness from her paternal side.
As the trial concluded on Wednesday, Marizanhi said she did not regret the crimes.
In her defence, she told the court that she killed her children to save her children from the abuse they were going to get from their father’s new wife after her death. She said:
I also wanted to die. That day I first took rat poison… the pills and called my children to take them as well before I instructed them to go to bed.
I was not breathing well and I realised there were survival chances; so to avoid that, I had to finish them (my children) off.
So, I decided to cut their throats with a knife.
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.
Marizanhi also told the court her own parents separated when she was still very young and had a tough upbringing.
She said when she met her husband Lameck Brande, the two were happy in their earlier days of marriage and acquired immovable and movable properties including a flourishing business. She added:
We started from scratch. We had nothing when we got married but we were happy.
The problems started when we started amassing wealth. My husband became abusive and was involved in extramarital affairs with several women.
She then decided to kill herself the time she was expecting her fifth child.
Marizanhi however did not die from an attempted suicide after she was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
A State witness, Dr Patrick dismissed claims that Marazanhi was unstable when she killed her children as supported by his medical affidavit.
High Court judge Munamato Mutevedzi on Wednesday reserved judgement in the matter.