A 20-year-old Binga man allegedly armed himself with an axe and fatally struck five members of the same family including his half brother and a one-year-old baby strapped on her mother’s back.
According to a report made to the police, the incident occurred in Lusulu under Chief Sinamagonde’s area on Friday night.
The suspect, Christopher Gotore who is suspected to be mentally challenged, also axed to death, two cows and set alight a bedroom thatched hut with the intention of burning the occupants inside.
He was arrested Saturday morning and is in police custody facing murder charges.
Gotore attempted to kill his mother, Patience Gotore and stepfather Bruce Sibanda who ran for their dear lives before he turned the heat on their two cows.
The deceased have been identified as Admire Nyangarai, his wife Bibeat Munsaka and their one-year-old daughter, Chiravigwa Shumba and Shan Sibanda aged seven. Shan was Sibanda’s son, a half brother to the killer.
Chief Sinamagonde said the incident had left the whole community shocked.
“We are still trying to establish what really happened but we are shocked as a community why this person would do such a thing,” the chief said.
“All we know about him is that he is from Gokwe and was staying in our area at Bruce Sibanda’s homestead, who is said to be his stepfather. All these things will be confirmed once police finish investigations.”
Police were yet to officially comment on the murder Monday evening.
However, police investigators were told that the attack occurred around 8pm on Friday.
“On 6 March around 8pm, Gotore armed himself with an axe and went to Admire Nyangarai’s homestead where he set a bedroom hut on fire. Nyangarai, who was inside, woke up and was struck twice by Gotore with an axe as he attempted to exit the hut and he died at the doorstep,” police investigators were told.
“The accused went to another bedroom hut where Tawanda and Shan Sibanda were sleeping and struck Shan twice on the head and he died on the spot. He went to a nearby shed where Sibanda, his wife and Shumba were sitting. He struck Shumba once on the neck and she collapsed and died on the spot,” police were told.
Sibanda and his wife, Patience tried to disarm Gotore, but fled from the scene after he overpowered them.
Gotore allegedly chased after the two but failed to catch them and he decided to go to the kraal where he axed a cow and its calf belonging to his stepfather.
Munsaka, who had remained in the hut when her husband was killed, came out running upon which Gotore gave chase and axed her several times together with the baby.
Gotore was arrested the following morning after Sibanda and his wife reported the matter to the police.
The five bodies were taken to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo for postmortem.