3 ON 6-MAN HIT LIST MUR­DERED

Men­tally chal­lenged man kills mum & 2 women

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Pa­trick Chi­tumba

A 34-YEAR-OLD men­tally chal­lenged man from Lower Gweru al­legedly stran­gled his mother with his bare hands be­fore fa­tally ax­ing two neigh­bours in grisly mur­ders which have shocked vil­lagers.

Vil­lagers teamed up to sub­due Ma­cala Tavengwa Chi­tuso af­ter the grue­some killings on Wed­nes­day at around 2PM.

Ma­cala of Ma­fusini vil­lage, Head­man Nyama, Chief Sog­wala, Lower Gweru — who is now in po­lice cus­tody — had made a hit list of six peo­ple he wanted to kill, ac­cord­ing to vil­lagers.

He had man­aged to kill his mother Ju­lia Chi­tuso (74), Emily Moyo (72) and Nancy Moyo (54) who are sis­ters, at the time of his ar­rest.

A som­bre at­mos­phere en­gulfed Ma­fusini Vil­lage when The Chron­i­cle vis­ited the area yes­ter­day.

Vil­lagers had di­vided them­selves into two groups to con­sole griev­ing families at the fu­neral wakes.

Mr Collen Moyo, a vil­lager and brother-in-law to Nancy and Emily, said Ma­cala — who has a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion of ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty af­ter ax­ing three beasts be­long­ing to a vil­lager — was a trou­bled soul who should have been ad­mit­ted to a men­tal in­sti­tu­tion.

“He met Nancy and struck her on the cen­tre of the head with an axe be­fore strik­ing Emily just above the right ear. Both died on the spot,” said Mr Moyo.

“He then went af­ter a herd­boy bran­dish­ing the blood­ied axe. He was shout­ing that he had killed three peo­ple in­clud­ing his mother and wanted to kill three more.”

Mr Moyo said Ma­cala told vil­lagers he killed his mother be­cause she re­fused to give him food.

“He said he killed the oth­ers over per­sonal is­sues,” he added.

Mr Khemesi Tshuma, the vil­lage head, said they were in mourn­ing and ev­ery­one was shocked by the grisly mur­ders.

He said Nancy’s brains were splat­tered on the ground while Emily’s face was al­most di­vided into two parts.

“I’ll never for­get the hair-rais­ing sight of the bod­ies for as long as I live,” Mr Khemesi said.

Ma­cala’s un­cle, Mr Ig­na­tious Chi­tuso, said the fam­ily had taken him to tra­di­tional heal­ers and the hospi­tal for his men­tal con­di­tion, to no avail.

He said they even en­gaged the po­lice about Ma­cala’s vi­o­lent ten­den­cies be­fore the court gave him com­mu­nity ser­vice.

“The com­mu­nity didn’t want him. He kept weapons and was vi­o­lent. It’s a pity in­no­cent lives have been lost,” Mr Chi­tuso said.

He said the com­mu­nity was wor­ried that Ma­cala would be given bail and come back to kill the other three vil­lagers he had tar­geted.

A po­lice re­port read: “The bod­ies of the three de­ceased per­sons were con­veyed to Gweru Pro­vin­cial Hospi­tal mor­tu­ary await­ing post­mortem. In­ves­ti­ga­tions into the mat­ter are in progress.”

Mid­lands pro­vin­cial po­lice spokesper­son In­spec­tor Joel Goko said po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

On July 5, Gweru Mag­is­trate Ms Florence Nago con­victed Ma­cala of ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty and sen­tenced him to eight months in pri­son for ax­ing three head of cat­tle be­long­ing to a vil­lager

Two months were sus­pended on con­di­tion of good be­hav­iour while a fur­ther five months were sus­pended on con­di­tion he per­formed 175 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice.

His un­cle said Ma­cala only per­formed 16 hours at a local clinic be­fore re­fus­ing to com­plete the sen­tence.

Last month, a men­tal pa­tient in Tsholot­sho al­legedly butchered a six-year-old Grade One pupil be­fore rip­ping his stom­ach with a knife. He then guarded the corpse.

The killings come at a time when the big­gest men­tal hospi­tal in Mata­bele­land, Ingut­sheni Cen­tral Hospi­tal in Bu­l­awayo, is fac­ing a crit­i­cal short­age of medicines for both its in and out­pa­tients.

Three nurses have been at­tacked by pa­tients this year as pa­tients go with­out seda­tives.

Officials at Ingut­sheni Cen­tral Hospi­tal say the drug short­age has re­sulted in un­sus­tain­able cases of out­pa­tients re­laps­ing and need­ing re-ad­mis­sion to the crowded in­sti­tu­tion. —@pchi­tumba1.

Mr Ig­na­tious Chi­tuso

Mr Collen Moyo

Mr Khemesi Tshuma

Ma­cala Tavengwa Chi­tuso and the bod­ies of his vic­tims in a po­lice truck

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