A Gwanda woman poisoned her two children aged six and two years, axed her employer’s mother and committed suicide following an altercation with her employer for whom she worked as a maid.
Lerato Moyo (30) from Sengezane on the outskirts of Gwanda is said to have drunk a dipping chemical after fighting with her employer.
She also allegedly gave the poison to her two children and axed her employer’s 80-year-old mother.
Her children are admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital, but the granny she axed was treated at the United Bulawayo Hospitals and discharged.
Mr Benjamin Nyathi, who was Moyo’s employer, said her behaviour shocked the whole community because she had been a hard worker.
“I was not around so I can’t say what really happened. What I know is that before she drank the poison, she axed my mother who is 80-years-old. My mother is the one who knows what really happened. But her behaviour started changing after she visited Mpilo Central Hospital where she was told that her youngest child had a heart problem and needed to be taken to Harare for treatment,” said Mr Nyathi.
“She drank the poison and gave it to her two sons and upon realising that the poison was not quick to kill as she wanted, she tried to hang herself on a tree. Her attempts to hang herself were foiled by herd boys who saw her.”
The incident occurred on August 11.
Moyo, her children and 80-year-old granny she attacked were rushed to the UBH for treatment.
She died within 24 hours of her admission at UBH while her children were transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital where they are still admitted.
It is not clear why the woman attempted to kill her children and then take her own life.
UBH clinical director Dr Narcisius Dzvanga said the woman died within 24 hours of admission.
“She passed on within the 24 hours of admission while the two children were transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital. You can get in touch with the hospital (Mpilo) regarding the children’s condition,” said Dr Dzvanga.
Mpilo Central Hospital public relations officer Ms Sibusisiwe Faith Ndlovu said the two children were in a stable condition following their poisoning.
“They are both out of danger. They were admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) when they came here.
“The four-year-old is now ready to be discharged while the two-year-old was removed from the ICU on Friday. We are still treating them but they are both in a stable condition,” said Ms Ndlovu.
She said the children would be discharged into the care of the Department of Social Welfare. Ms Ndlovu said a relative of the children has been frequenting the hospital to see them.
She said members of the public should not resort to suicide when faced with challenges.
“We urge members of the public to seek counselling services instead of killing themselves. The children could have died for something they do not even know. But we thank God that they are safe and out of danger,” said Ms Ndlovu.
A source said the woman could have been cheating with her employer’s husband resulting in the fall-out.
“Things didn’t go well after this was discovered. She was buried last Friday,” said the source.