Ray Bande Senior Reporter
THE mother of the three children that were axed and burnt by their father before he set household property on fire says she regrets having left her children when she ran away from her hostile and dangerous husband.
Fashion Mupakati (42), who had been released after serving a one-year-eight-months jail term for murdering his girlfriend, allegedly killed his children, Trinity (5) and Trish (8), before setting the homestead on fire.
He is now on the run and a manhunt has since been launched for him.
Tanaka (12), who survived the gruesome attack with two deep head cuts, is admitted at Mutare Provincial Hospital.
In an interview on the sidelines of the two children’s funeral wake at their Birchenough Bridge homestead, Mupakati’s wife of 17 years, Precious Kadumba, said they had not enjoyed peace at their home since her husband’s release from prison.
She deserted the homestead following incessant and dangerous threats from Mupakati and had sought refuge at her relative’s home in Harare.
“My husband was jailed for one, year eight months after being convicted of killing his girlfriend. Since his release from prison in May, peace never prevailed here. We quarrelled over several issues and each time he would threaten to kill me.
“Issues came to a boil upon his release from prison when he scrolled my phone and asked why I was communicating with his uncle, Joshua Choto. I explained to him that these were the people who were assisting me during his absence, but he could have none of it. He suggested that I feign a rape case against his uncle and I refused. I advised him to suggest that to my father first before I can agree. He knew that was a non-starter. He kept on threatening me,” she said.
“I tried to leave him three times since May, but each time he would pretend to have reformed and apologised. When he threatened me again I finally moved away on June 5. I asked my brother to come and pick my children. I now regret having left my children behind although I had no choice because of the way I escaped from him. I had to go right away at that moment and then arrange for the children to join me,” she said.
Kadumba said she opted to find refuge in Harare fearing for her life.
“I went away and stayed with my relatives in Harare because I was afraid that he would kill me. He apologised and asked me to come back home, but I had lost all the trust in him and I was actually scared of him. I eventually agreed to come back, but I planned to come back in the company of my relatives and that was last Friday when we then travelled from Harare.
“However, on our way from Harare he kept calling, inquiring where exactly we were along the way. I sensed danger because he would phone after short intervals. He later sent me a message saying he had killed our children,” she said.
Kadumba said upon their arrival at Birchenough Bridge they went straight to the police station.
“We also phoned neighbours who rushed to our homestead and discovered that the house was on fire. They managed to rescue the elder boy, but the other two were already dead,” she added.
Mupakati is said to have sent them another message saying they could find him at a nearby mountain, but police could not locate him when they went there.