Elmon Mupombwa (41), committed the atrocious acts a few days after returning from a two week ritual at the healer’s home. He left behind a diary detailing his stay there.
Mupombwa is believed to have attempted to give back the healer the goblins and charms, which he had used to make money over the years and US$500 which was to be compensation for the use of the goblins.
However, that proved harder than he had anticipated, as the healer is said to have demanded all his possessions he accumulated using the goblins, and his five young children.
Faced with the option of handing over his young ones to the healer, Mupombwa is alleged to have lined up his five children aged between four and 11, and axed them one after the other before killing most of his livestock and torching his home. He then hanged himself.
According to his relatives, Mupombwa had, with the assistance of the healer only identified as Chinyangana, become a wealthy man by village standards.
“We are told that when he went to the traditional healer in Chipinge he wanted to return the goblins, which he used to make the money.
“He took with him about US$500, which he wanted to pay as compensation for the goblins, but the traditional healer told him that the money was not enough.
“Instead, he was asked to hand over all his possessions, including his children to the healer. We believe this enraged him and drove him to killing the children.”
Three of the axed children, Rufaro (11), Evidence (5) and Winnet (7), died from the wounds sustained while Munashe (4) is still admitted at Mutare General Hospital. Theresa (9) is now out of hospital.
Mupombwa also killed five cattle, 20 goats and 17 chickens and torched two houses on the fateful night.His wife, Chipo Ndihana, also told The Sunday Mail that her husband’s actions emanated from his last consultations with the healer.
“I did not know that he was going to the traditional healer because he told me that he was going to Buhera when he left,” she said.
But however, Mupombwa’s relatives believe that his wife has been withholding some crucial information from them.On the fateful night, she said Mupombwa sent her to visit her sick mother who lived nearby. But her husband’s relatives are not convinced.
“Her (the wife’s) behaviour is surprising everyone up to now. She does not want anything to do with her surviving children and is refusing to even bath orclean Theresa’s wounds (the one out of hospital). She has not even visited the younger one in hospital and this is making us very suspicious. There is something amiss here,” said Mupombwa’s sister.
In his diary, Mupombwa declared his undying love for his wife and children.He stated in the small book that his life and behaviour changed soon after Ndihana (the wife) positively responded to his love advances.
“Mudiwa Chipo, pandakadanana newe vanhu vaindiseka vachiti unokadii kamunhu kakaita sewe.
“Asi pawakandida ndakashandura maitiro angu. Ndakatanga kugeza, kuvamunhu akarongeka, kusatarisa vamwe vasikana uye nekukutaridza rudo rwangu.” (When I was proposing to you people used to laugh at me because I was scruffy then but when you accepted my proposal I changed my behaviour and started bathing, being organised, not looking at other girls and showing you my true love.”
Mupombwa also applauded himself in the diary for having built a modern homestead and sired healthy children.
“Ndakavaka musha wangu — Harare chaiyo,” he wrote. (I built my homestead with houses similar to those in Harare).
He also wrote that he spent most of the time, especially evenings, crying while at the healer’s home.He also describes in detail the behaviour of the people in the Mbeure area where the traditional healer lived.
“Nzvimbo ino yakasiyana neyekwedu yandinoziva,” he wrote. “Vanhu vekuno havanwi tea, vanongodya sadza kamwe chete pazuva masikati uye vanowana mvura kure. Tusikana twekuno hatupfeki hembe muviri wese Tunongopfeka tusiketi tudikidiki.’’ (This place is so different from where I come from. People here do not have breakfast they eat once a day in the afternoons. Water is found very far from the homesteads and girls here walk around seminaked.)
The diary has explicit details on all the sexual encounters Mupombwa had with his wife, which resulted in each child being conceived.It also contains vague statements such as: "Ichokwadi kurarama kwakaoma, unotambura ukaneta asi ukasashinga unoparara. Uye ukaita moyo murefu unofa ndiwe vose vosara vachirarama." (Life is very difficult . There are many problems and one has to be brave. If you are not careful you will end up dying.)
His relatives said they would use the diary to try and understand more on Mupombwa’s state leading to the fateful night.