A 53-year-old HIV positive woman from Mberengwa has been arrested for allegedly killing her 28-year-old disabled and bed ridden son by striking him thrice on the head with a pestle. Siphiwe Mlauzi, who was reportedly worried by her deteriorating health, went on to inform a neighbour after committing the offence before she attempted to commit suicide. The incident, which has set tongues wagging, occurred on Wednesday night at Village Marori, Chief Mahlebadza.
Acting police spokesperson for Midlands Province Assistant Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko confirmed the incident yesterday. He identified the man as Talent Shumba.
According to a relative, Mlauzi, a widow who was staying with the disabled son, decided to allegedly kill him in fear that he would not find a caregiver in the event that she dies before him.
Shumba has been disabled since birth and would soil himself while the mother would clean and take care of him all his life.
â€œWhen Mlauzi who has been taking anti-retroviral drugs for the past three years recently fell ill, she then took the unfortunate decision and killed her son before she tried to commit suicide,â€ said a relative who declined to be identified, arguing that he was not the family spokesperson.
The relative said after striking her son with a pestle and killing him instantly, Mlauzi went to her neighbour and told her of the development before she attempted to commit suicide.
â€œThe neighbour then quickly blocked Mlauzi who had indicated that she was now proceeding to commit suicide as she screamed for help from other villagers. The neighbour and some villagers who responded to the alarm then managed to get hold of Mlauzi and this was when we were informed of the unfortunate development,â€ he said.
The relative said Mlauzi had indicated to a neighbour that she had killed her son because she thought she was â€œdyingâ€ and her son would not get assistance.
â€œI think Mlauzi did not get the much needed counselling and we are equally to blame as the family for the tragic incident. After staying with her son for the past 28 years, we thought she had accepted what God had given her and never thought of this tragedy,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Mahlebadza who confirmed the incident, lashed out at non-government organisations dealing with disabled persons, which he said were failing to reach out to villages to help the needy.
â€œThe problem with these NGOs which assist people of this nature operate within cities and towns, they do not have time to reach out to rural areas to see what we experience here. This woman could have saved the life of her son and avoided being arrested if she had received enough counselling and support,â€ he said.
Asst Insp Mahoko said Mlauzi was taken to the police by villagers following the incident. He said police investigations were underway.
â€œThe accused Mlauzi is leading police with investigations. We appeal to members of the public to seek counselling and advice from elders in society when faced with problems,â€ said Asst Insp Mahoko.