A man from Redcliff in the Midlands province went berserk and fatally stabbed six people including three babies aged between three and seven months old in a pre-dawn rampage that started during an Apostolic sect night prayer meeting.The incident took place early yesterday morning at about 3am at Stone Clair, Rutendo suburb.
The man, suspected to be mentally unstable, allegedly ran amok during the church all-night vigil, uprooting trees before going into the community where he was knocking at doors and when occupants opened, he then stabbed his victims with a spear.
National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway.
He said the police have arrested Thubelihle Khoshow (26) who is a member of the Johane Masowe sect in connection with the incident.
Asst Comm Nyathi said it is believed Khoshow became mentally disturbed and was taken to the church shrine for prayers.
“While at the shrine, the suspect became violent and began uprooting trees as well as pushing stationary vehicles.The church congregates managed to subdue him and tied him with some ropes,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said in the early hours of the morning while other church members were asleep, the man woke up and freed himself. He got into his vehicle and drove to the house where he did not find his wife.
“The suspect armed himself with three spears, kitchen knife as well as an axe, went to his uncle’s home where he smashed the front door using unknown object and gained entry into the house.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said his uncle and family members escaped through the window leaving four children and two cousins sleeping in the dining room.
“They later returned to their house and found their children lying unconscious with multiple stab wounds. As a result they sought refuge at a police officer’s house who lives nearby.”
He said however, the suspect followed them and stabbed the police officer on the back with a spear and further seriously injured three other people and fatally stabbed a 33-year-old man.
“The suspect returned to his residence and stabbed to death two female adults aged 56 and 85. He also raped one person during his rampage.”
He said those injured were referred to Kwekwe General Hospital but three juveniles aged seven, three and seven months died on admission.
Redcliff Mayor Councillor Clayton Masiyatsva said the community was still in shock over the incident.
He said it all started during an all-night vigil.
“During the prayer session, he ran amok and started uprooting trees and attacking everyone. As a community we are still shaken and we are trying to get to terms with what just happened,” said Clr Masiyatsva.