A man yesterday allegedly fatally struck his wife with an axe and his two children with an axe handle after falling into a trance during a prayer session.

The third child miraculously survived after neighbours, responding to distress calls from the vendor’s screaming wife and children, broke down the door to the prayer room turned into a murder scene.

Witnesses to the shocking incident, which occurred at 2:00 pm yesterday, said the man, Leo Kanyimo of Woodlands suburb, an ardent Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) member was
praying in his house together with his family when he suddenly turned violent.

“We knew him as a prayerful man and yesterday he said they were fasting and praying for one of their children whom he said was possessed with evil spirits. As they were praying, we suddenly heard some screams that is when we dashed to the scene only to realise, he was axing the family,” said a neighbour, Mr Charles Ngazi.

Another witness and neighbour, Mrs Violent Guduza said the family had spent the previous night praying at the top of their voices.

She said Kanyimo, a vendor based at Woodlands Shopping Centre, was known to be a prayerful man.

“Last night they were making noise in their room praying until late and today I met his wife, Chipo and asked why they had been praying like that of late. She then indicated that they were praying for one of their minor girls whom they said was possessed,” she said.

Another neighbour said Kanyimo at one time held one of his children with his left hand before striking him on the head with the axe handle.

When a Chronicle visited the scene at around 4:00 PM yesterday, the body of Kanyimo’s wife was lying on the bed while the other child’s body was on the floor in a pool of blood.

The second child’s body was lying in the middle of the road covered in a blanket. Kanyimo was at the scene still brandishing the blood-stained axe while shouting some incomprehensible statements at the top of his voice.

When the police later arrived at the scene, they were assisted by residents to apprehend him as he was still violent.

Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko said he was still to get the details of the murder incident from police details who attended the scene.