A WOMAN from Gutu in Zimbabwe yesterday allegedly crushed a man’s skull with an axe before eating his brains and flesh.
Gutu deputy District Administrator Lovemore Chisema confirmed the gruesome incident. He said Esther Katandawa, aged 27, of Mpandawana Village under Headman Gadzingwa, brutally attacked Simon Muzenda, 26, a herdsman, at about 9AM.
He said police were horrified to find Katandawa feasting on the raw flesh. Chisema said the woman could be mentally challenged.
“I can confirm that Simon Muzenda, a herdsman at one of the homesteads in Mpandawana Village, was axed to death by a woman who could be mentally unstable. When police arrived they found the woman eating human flesh. I’m yet to get a course of action that police will take,” said Chisema.
When the news crew arrived at the scene, shell-shocked villagers said Katandawa met Muzenda cutting a tree branch using an axe and wrestled it from him.
She struck Muzenda on the face and skull several times. The skull, the villagers said, was split open leaving the brain exposed.
“When people arrived, blood dripped through her fingers and lips as she ate pieces of flesh from the bloody lifeless body. She only stopped when four policemen from Mpandawana Base in the company of Special Constabulary, Alita Madondo, arrived,” said a villager who said he was still struggling to come to terms with what he saw.
Villagers said Katandawa advanced towards the villagers and police officers brandishing the axe and they scurried for cover. They said Madondo heroically grabbed her from behind and disarmed her.
“Judging by the marks on the scene, Muzenda wrestled with his attacker before he was overpowered. I was told by a neighbour that Muzenda had been murdered,” said Tendai Shitapa, 30.
Causemore Gurajena, 33, Muzenda’s employer, said he would never forget the sight of Muzenda’s mutilated body.
“The situation was tense and some villagers including my grandmother wept uncontrollably. When I moved closer, I saw that the skull was crushed with brains strewn all over the ground. Esther’s mouth was caked with blood, confirming that she had indeed eaten human flesh,” he said.
Gurajena said the killing was even more difficult to accept because Muzenda started working for him on November 21.
A visibly shaken Katandawa’s mother, Kurai Mupuwi, 54, who led this reporter to the scene of the tragedy, said her daughter had a history of mental problems and was once a patient at Ngomahuru Psychiatric Hospital.
“My daughter has been having mental lapses since 2010. She was admitted at Gomahuru for treatment and was only discharged on Thursday last week. On Monday night she burnt up all medication and threatened to strangle me,” she said.
“Today I even pleaded with her not to leave home while I looked for her tablets at the chemist in town but my pleas fell on deaf ears. Instead, she throttled me. Later, neighbours notified me of this tragedy. Police officers came and informed me Esther had killed an innocent man,” said Mupuwi with tears streaming down her cheeks.
Acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Kudakwashe Dehwa also confirmed the incident and said Katandawa was in custody assisting with investigations.
“The body has been taken to Gutu Mission Hospital mortuary for post-mortem. Katandawa has been put behind bars and is assisting with investigations. She is expected to appear in court soon charged with murder,” said Asst Insp Dehwa.