George Maponga in Masvingo
The remains of two Chiredzi juvenile siblings who were allegedly killed by their father, Dr William Phiri, a prominent medical doctor and sugar cane farmer in the Lowveld, are still lying at local mortuary in the sugar-cane growing town with the burial date and place still unknown.
Princess Phiri(3) and her brother Victor(seven months) were allegedly killed by their father in cold blood, two weeks ago while their two other siblings, Ropafadzo(6) and Themba(4) were left nursing serious injuries following a brutal attack by their father in a horrific incident that shook the conscience of the entire nation.
Dr Phiri tried to commit suicide by torching his house at Mkwasine estates where he had locked himself inside together with his four children. Neighbours forced open one of the doors into the burning house and retrieved Dr Phiri and his four children but two of them had already died.
Themba and Ropafadzo are hospitalised at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital in Harare and Chiredzi District Hospital respectively where their condition is reportedly critical. Dr Phiri is recuperating at Chiredzi Hospital under heavy guard by prison officers after he appeared in court and was remanded in custody to Febuary 9.
Chiredzi magistrate Mr Simbarashe Gundani charged him with two counts of attempted murder and the same number of counts for murder. He is recovering after stabbing himself with a knife on the chest several times in an apparent suicide attempt.
Chiredzi District Development Coordinator and Civil Protection Unit chair Mr Lovemore Chisema confirmed the remains of the two Phiri siblings had not yet been buried.
“Burial of the two children who were allegedly killed by their father at Mkwasine estates has not yet been conducted and it is not yet clear when and where the burial will take place and as of now their bodies are still in a morgue at Chiredzi District Hospital,”said Mr Chisema.
“We made enquiries on the fate of the two bodies and close relatives indicated that burial arrangements will only take after full recovery of the other two injured children who are battling for life in hospital.”
Mr Chisema also confirmed that Dr Phiri was recovering in hospital.
“He(Dr Phiri) is recuperating at Chiredzi District Hospital but under guard from prison officers after he was remanded in custody.”
Revelations by Mr Chisema that burial of the two Phiri dead siblings was going to be stayed for the moment dovetails with what their mother Ms Loice Chakauya said last week.
Opening up for the first time on the tragedy Ms Chakauya-who accompanied her son Themba to Harare Central Hospital where he is undergoing treatment-said the family will only make burial plans after the recovery of those currently nursing injuries.
Ms Chakauya who disclosed to The Herald that she has since forgiven her husband and blasted social media for twisting facts,said the family could not afford to make burial plans of the deceased while lives of the survivors was still at stake
Mrs Phiri attributed her husband’s actions on that fateful day as a strange act she said needs mental examination to determine while also casting the possibility her husband might be a victim of too much intelligence.
She said Dr Phiri was a caring family man who loved his children that it was unfathomable that he would deliberately act the way he did.