What was thought as death caused by heavy winds that felled a house wall on a person has turned out to be a case of murder.
This is the story of a Bangwe Market vegetable seller who was murdered and, suspectedly, part of her house deliberately brought down to cover up the heinous act.
But perhaps, had the 31-year-old businesswoman—Janet Chimbira—known what lay ahead on that fateful Saturday evening, she could have slept in the market as she often did when she returned from buying her merchandise.
On this evening she had brought tomatoes and Irish potatoes from Dedza.
But as fate would have it, she opted to spend time with her six children, who now have to face the reality of growing up without her.
Worse still, the six children—Memory, 18, Jacqueline, 13, Rachel, 9, Wisdom, 5, Angella, 3, and Kondwani, one year and six months—have no idea where their father is, as he went missing a day after their mother’s burial.
Their father, a farmer who lives in Dedza and, according to Memory, used to visit them occasionally.
Narrating the ordeal to Nation on Sunday on Wednesday, Memory, said her mother arrived at around 7pm last Saturday, from Dedza where she went to buy the Irish potatoes and tomatoes.
As usual, they had supper and according to Memory, what was odd that evening was that the deceased told her that if anything happened to her, she would have a list of all the people she owed money.
“It’s like she knew that something would happen to her. She then told me that we
should meet in the morning to discuss other issues,” said Memory, fighting back tears.
Memory said she was woken up by one of her siblings, Jacqueline, from a nearby house where she had slept, who told her that part of their house had fallen and their mother was missing.
She said she rushed to the house, accompanied by some neighbours. Memory said what alarmed them was that the front door was open,
but Jacqueline had come out through the fallen part of the house.
Two of the neighbours, Isaac Watson and Medson Yotamu, corroborated Memory’s story, but said they did not hear any noise when the wall fell.
On Thursday, Watson and Yotamu showed Nation on Sunday crew three parts of the
house where it showed that the burnt bricks wall had been
tampered with before it fell.
“Actually, when we heard of the tragedy, we both knew there was something sinister because the house was so strong that it could not be easily demolished, even by strong winds,” said Watson.
A post-mortem report obtained at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (Qech) confirms suspicions that the deceased had been assaulted by a sharp object at the back of her head.
Limbe Police Station spokesperson Patrick Mussa confirmed receiving a report on the incident and said investigations are underway.
“In the first place, we opened a file on sudden death but now we have opened a murder case file because results of the post-mortem indicate that the death was due to an assault in the head by a sharp object that caused internal bleeding. But so far we have no suspects,” he said. The deceased was buried on Monday