The man, Ephraim Hari (37), also set ablaze his brother’s barn containing 12 bales of cured tobacco before drinking a 500ml bottle of imidachloprid and another 500ml of avi-methamideaphos, a tobacco pesticide, resulting in his death.
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara confirmed the incident adding that further investigations by police later established that Ephraim had killed his wife Faresi Mauya (34), brother-in-law Lawson Mwanza (20) and his worker Emson Charedzera (27) before downing a tobacco pesticide.
Hari, of Bhobho Village under Chief Kazangarare, ran amok soon after a meeting to discuss allegations that he had raped the girl. The alleged rape came to light when Ephraim’s mother, Mrs Rosnet Chinavaenzwa (63), took the girl to the river to bath on Sunday at around 9am.
She later examined her and established that she had been with a man. Upon questioning, the girl fingered Hari saying the alleged rape took place earlier this month. It is at that stage that the mother told Ephraim’s elder brother, Claudius, of the rape allegations.
The brother then summoned Ephraim to his homestead to discuss the matter. After the discussions, the family resolved that they would schedule another meeting to finalise the matter.
“I opened the door as I did not suspect anything and he struck me once on the left side of my neck with an axe. I screamed in pain and he advanced towards me again in a bid to finish me off,” he explained from his hospital bed.
He was only saved from further harm after his wife, Irene Veremu (34), pulled him back into the bedroom and locked the door. Ephraim started demanding that he open the door, but he refused.
He warned him that he would set his homestead ablaze. “Again I thought he was joking but when I opened the door sometime later my granary and kitchen were on fire,” said Claudius.
He said during the attack, Ephraim said killing him would obliterate incriminating evidence. They then went to report at Mwami police base before taking Claudius to the nearby Mwami Clinic where his condition was deemed serious and he was transferred to Karoi District Hospital.
Asked what kind of a person Ephraim was, Claudius described him as a quiet person who neither smoked nor imbibed.
“We are surprised by what has happened. He just kept quiet as if he was listening carefully to what we were discussing. He never showed signs that he was angry after the discussion,” he said.
Indications are that the sexual assault was not a once-off thing but done repeatedly.
Insp Mabgweazara dissuaded people from presiding over serious matters of rape, but to report to the police and justice take its course.
Burial arrangements are still being finalised as relatives await post-mortem results of the three deceased people. herald
A Hurungwe man went on the rampage on Monday night killing three people with an axe and injuring another before committing suicide after being confronted by his relatives on allegations of raping a 12-year-old girl.However, Ephraim had other ideas and returned to his brother’s homestead at around 2am armed with an axe. Narrating the harrowing story, Claudius -who is admitted at Karoi District Hospital – said his brother knocked on the door and asked him to come out so that they discuss further the rape allegations.