A 36-YEAR-OLD polygamous Marondera man, who forced his three children to overdose on sleeping pills before drinking poison in a bid to commit suicide, was on Thursday sentenced to three years in jail by Marondera magistrate Josephine Sande.
Sailos Gumunyu, of Cherutombo high-density suburb, had pleaded guilty to the assault charges and told the court he gave his children sleeping tablets before he took the poison because “he did not want his children to witness him dying”.
He will, however, serve an effective two-year jail term after the magistrate suspended a year on condition of good behaviour.
The court heard on February 26 this year, at around 12 midday, Gumunyu went to Dippy Duck Pre-School, where he collected his four-year-old daughter, then he went to Barnes Primary School and collected his eight-year-old daughter.
Gumunyu, the court heard, then went to Nyameni Primary School, where he collected his 11-year-old son before they all proceeded to their Cherutombo residence.
The court further heard Gumunyu then asked his children to accompany him to Marondera central business district, where he bought a bottle of Dimetic poison and lied to his children that the drug was a cough syrup.
Gumunyu, it is said, then hired a taxi to Rusike suburb in Marondera, where he resided with his second wife, and upon arrival, locked himself inside with the children.
The court heard he gave his son three small pink pills and gave his daughters two each and ordered them to drink, saying they were for the treatment of flu.
Gumunyu then took the Dimetic poison after mixing it with orange juice and later sent text messages to his two wives, telling them he wanted to set them free.
However, some relatives rushed to the residence, where they found the four already unconscious and rushed them all to Marondera District Hospital, where the matter was reported to the police, leading to Gumunyu’s arrest.
Paul Chivesi represented the State.
- News Day