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In a spine-chilling incident that left people in Village 4 under Chief Svosve in Hwedza shocked, a man axed his wife and two children to death after she allegedly told him, he was not the biological father of the kids.
Innocent Chakabuda, allegedly struck his wife twice on the back of her head before turning it on his two children following a heated domestic dispute sparked by suspicions of infidelity.
As if that was not enough, Chakabuda, downed pesticide in an attempt to take his own life after allegedly axing his wife Junior Dzonga, their children; Vongai and Anenyasha Chakabuda.
The incident occurred on September 8, 2019.
On the day in question, Chakabuda had a misunderstanding with his wife on the suspicion that she was having an extra-marital affair.
It was when his wife told him that he was not the biological father of their two children.
Irked by his wife’s words, he went on to grab an axe, struck her twice on the back of her head before turning it on their children, whom he also attacked twice each on the back of their heads.
Chakabuda was then arrested.
Yesterday, Chakabuda appeared at the High Court charged with three counts of murder.
Chakabuda, through his lawyer Mr Phanuel Mazhande of Mazhande Legal Practice, denied the charges when he appeared before Justice Erica Ndewere.
In his defence prepared by Mr Mazhande, Chakabuda challenged admission of his warned and cautioned statement saying he gave it after being coerced.
Mr Mazhande raised issues on Chakabuda’s sanity and applied that he be examined by two Government medical doctors before trial commences.
Justice Ndewere granted the application and ordered that Chakabuda returns to court on October 26 for trial.
In his defence Chakabuda admitted having marital problems with his wife.
“As a result of this the accused was always under large degree of stress and pressure.
“He will state that on the day in question an argument ensued after he had removed our child Vongai from where she was sleeping between him and he laid her down where she would normally sleep.
“The accused and his wife exchanged words until wife told him that both children were hers and not his. Before conception of the first child the couple had conception problems,” he said.
Mr Mazhande, in the defence, said Chakabuda got angry and stormed outside the room after his wife told him that the children were not his.
He said Chakabuda could not recollect as to what transpired afterwards.
“The accused will state that he remembers seeing his wife on the floor with blood on her head and also remembers seeing his two children also lying on the floor. He also remembers seeing an axe on the ground beside the three deceased.
“The accused will state that he has no recollection of exactly what he did that resulted in the deaths of the three,” he said.
In his defence Chakabuda said he was shocked and confused upon realisation of what had happened and whilst in that state he ran into the kitchen, fetch tobacco pesticide and drank it.
“The accused will state that he drank the poison so as to end his life simply because the sight he had seen frightened him and he had no appreciation of what had taken place,” he said.
In his defence Chakabuda admitted to taking dagga since he was a teenager until the day he allegedly murdered his family.
He also said his mother had a history of mental illness.
“Further to this accused mother who is now late had a history of mental illness.
“This coupled with history of substance abuse as well as the shock of being informed that he may not be the father of his children may have triggered a state of temporary insanity or insane automatism,” he said.
He is expected back in court on October 26 for trial after the under-going mental examination.
Ms Junior Mugebe represented the State.