Chivhu killer mom gets life sentence

Source: The Herald – Breaking news

Chivhu killer mom gets life sentence

Fidelis Munyoro

Chief Court Reporter

The CHIVHU woman, Emelda Marizani who poisoned and cut the throats her four daughters over a marital dispute with her husband three years ago, has been sentenced to life imprisonment, the maximum for a woman killer, with the judge making it clear she could never return to society.

 She was last week convicted of four counts of murder in a bid to spite her husband whom she accused of infidelity after the court found that she was not mentally ill, her only defence. 

Yesterday, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi sentenced Marizani to life imprisonment noting that the murders were committed in aggravating circumstances.

 According to Justice Mutevedzi, Marizani had a basic, legal and natural responsibility as a mother was to protect the children but utterly failed and betrayed the trust which the girls had in her.

 “We have no apprehension to conclude that the accused is a highly dangerous individual. The courts will accord very little if any mercy to a mother who butchers her own children in cold blood. We would be completely irresponsible if we were to consider giving the accused a second chance. She does not deserve it. She does not deserve to return to society.” 

 Justice Mutevedzi, in sentencing Marizani, was highly critical of her husband Lameck Brande finding that his womanising behavior contributed to his wife’s rage and bitterness leading to the murders of the children. He could not escape responsibility for the death of his children.

“A married man who shamelessly hops from one woman to another and engages in multiple intimate relationships in the manner that Lameck did does not only hurt his spouse but also hurts his children and many other innocent third parties who become collateral damage in those promiscuity escapades.”

 His claim that he loves his children is no different from his wife. Both of them only thought of themselves at the expense of their children.”

In November 2020, Marizani poisoned her four children and when she assumed they might not die, took a knife and slit their throats one-by-one.

She then gulped the same poison trying to commit suicide, but survived.

During trial, Marizani denied the murders and proffered a defence of diminished responsibility, but this could not be sustained as a doctor who examined her found her to be of stable mind.

The gory pictures that were tendered in court depicted the state of the children’s bodies in death. 

Their throats were slit open and bloody. Two of them appeared like they were tied together with a cord. The other two’s bodies were completely charred.

In convicting Marizani last week, Justice Mutevedzi found that the totality of evidence before the court concluded that she failed to prove on a balance of probabilities that she was mentally ill at the time she killed her children.

In her defence outline, Marizani claimed that she was psychotic, and in an abusive marriage, and that her husband had countless illicit affairs, while he also scorned her for bearing girls. 

Ms Gamuchirai Muchapireyi and Ms Chiedza Tsikira of Tsikira Muchapireyi Corporate Attorneys represented Marizani while prosecutor Mr Teddy Kamuriwo appeared for the State.

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