Crime & Courts

4-year-old Girl Caught In Parents Crossfire… Murdered By Stepfather, Body Given To Dogs & Some Parts Missing

THE burial of a four-year-old girl, who was allegedly killed by her stepfather on Saturday, has been delayed as the family squabbles over her final resting place. ‌

Paloma Phiri was reportedly killed by Michael Meliford (28) during a fight with the girl’s mother, Advent Zunde (28) at Braeside Farm in Selous, Mashonaland West Province.

Advent escaped with her minor child, leaving Paloma at the mercy of Michael.  When Paloma’s body was found, it had been eaten by dogs and some parts were missing.  Michael appeared at the Kadoma Magistrates’ Court on Monday where he was rema-nded in custody to March 7.

Paloma’s body was taken to Sally Mugabe Central Hospital mortuary for a post-mortem.  Advent lost her first husband, Watson Phiri, four years ago and married Michael.

Her mother, Getrude Zunde, said Advent escaped, and Michael allegedly punished her by killing the innocent Paloma.  “It is my prayer that Paloma’s soul rests in peace,” said Getrude.  “Families have been failing to agree on the place of burial because of circumstances surrounding the death of Paloma.

“Reports were that Michael came home drunk and started assaulting Advent.  “Advent escaped and Michael turned to Paloma and she died on the spot.  “Her mother sought refuge in a maize field and later retired to bed at her sister-in-law’s house.

“Relatives of Paloma’s father, the Gurupira family, wants her body taken to Kotwa for burial.  “But the Gurupira family never paid lobola so they can’t take the body to their village.

“Some mourners are gathered in Kotwa, while some are in Selous and others in Harare.  “Muzukuru wangu aizivikanwa kuti chikwama chagogo nekuti ndaigara ndinaye.  “The day she went to be with her mother is the day she met her fate, and that has emotionally affected me,” said Getrude.

The mother of the late Phiri, Mary Maryfale Chirwa, told H-Metro mourners are gathered at her homestead in Kotwa and they were expecting the Zunde family to inform them of the tragedy, according to custom.  “Advent was married to my late son Watson, and they were blessed with three children,” said Maryfale.

“Watson never paid lobola since he was not employed and spent the better part of his time at his in-laws’ house.  “Ndinovimba kuti aishanda mabasa ipapo vachiwana chekudya saka nyaya yekuti haana kubvisa roora ngavamboisendeka pasi.

“We heard about the death of Paloma as rumours, and we are expecting the Zunde family to inform us according to custom.  “We will not go to Harare or the farm for burial.

“Paloma was murdered and her body given to the dogs by Advent’s second husband Michael, and that’s so painful,” said Maryfale.

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