Police in Gweru have arrested a local man for the brutal murders of his wife and two children in Woodlands residential suburb on Tuesday morning.
The man used an axe handle to bludgeon the victims and also stabbed them with a knife, according to neighbours, who added that another child was rescued by some people who witnessed the violence.
When the 98.4FM News crew visited the area of the murders, the police were yet to remove the bodies from the grizzly scene.
According to some eyewitnesses, the suspect Leo Kanyimo, allegedly murdered his family following a domestic dispute over a US$1 that his wife had used the previous day. They also said Kanyimo was praying with his family when he suddenly picked up an axe and started assaulting them.
One neighbour, who identified himself as Guduza, said he heard the suspect speaking in a strange language and later heard the man`s wife crying for help.
“At first, I heard the man speaking in tongues and then heard a pounding sound when he started hitting his wife and she cried out for help. I then rushed to the house and found it locked, and I was also scared of getting into the house by myself,” said the neighbour.
He added that the suspect, Kanyimo, then started threatening to kill all those who were trying to rescue his wife and children.
An eyewitness said the suspect then emerged from the house holding his toddler child by the legs. Some people started pelting him with stones and he then put the child down, before striking the toddler to death several times, according to the eyewitness.
Another witness said: “It is said the woman bought some fresh chips yesterday for US$1 and apparently the husband was not happy about it and threatened to kill her for it. I think it’s why she has been killed.”
The community members also blamed the police for taking long to attend to the scene, after they had been alerted of the domestic violence.
“We just want to say to the police you have caused us pain today. We called the police soon after the violence started and they only showed up after the woman and even threatened to arrest us for airing out our displeasure,” said one community member.
The triple homicide has left locals shell-shocked and at loss for answers. Councillor for Vungu Ward 16, which covers Woodlands suburb, Parirenyatwa Nyika expressed deep concern over the incident.
He said: “The man killed his wife and children in cold blood and the motive for the murders has not been established.”
The police were yet to release a statement on the homicide at the time of going to print.