Tabora. A woman went berserk in Nzega District on Saturday, slashing six children to death with a machete and seriously wounding four others.
Five of the children were hers and one was her brother’s, Tabora Regional police Commander Emmanuel Nley said yesterday.
The woman, identified as Nana Maganga, died after Saturday’s killing spree in Luzuko Village in circumstances that were not yet clear. Reports from the scene said Maganga first set upon her five children, including two-year-old twins, before killing her brother’s child. She then attacked and seriously wounded four other children.
Mr Nley said police arrested five people in connection with the incident. The suspects include Mr Masanja Jisenge, who owns the house in which the killings took place, and his brother, Mr Dotto Jisenge, who was Maganga’s husband.
He named others in custody as Mr Mapande Kulingwa, Mr Mafuta Tungu and Mr Paul Penda.
The RPC said Maganga had mental problems and went to her brother -in-law, Masanja Jisenge, for treatment. Mr Jisenge is also a traditional healer. It was in the healer’s house that the woman ran amok and slaughtered the children.
Mr Nley said it was still not clear how Maganga died, adding that police were questioning a number of people.
“We have heard that the suspect was apprehended and tied with a rope after committing the killings. However, she took poison and died before police arrived at the scene. We are still investigating to establish whether this is true or not,” he said.
A local government leader, Mr Jilatu Lukwizu, said Maganga arrived at he brother-in-law’s house at around 8pm on Friday, and committed the killings at around 5am on Saturday.
“She arrived with her family and was given a room. The treatment was supposed to start the following day, but the tragedy disrupted everything,” he said.
Nzega District Commissioner Godfrey Ngupulla described the incident as an “unspeakable tragedy”.
He called upon residents to rake their relatives suspected to be suffering from mental problems to hospital instead of traditional healers.