A man from Mutare is fighting for justice after his daughter tragically lost her life due to the denial of medical care by her husband, who cited religious beliefs as the reason.
Phillip Gudza, the grieving father, claims that his son-in-law, Ethan Mazino, a devoted member of the Johanne Mahindekinde Sect in Chimanimani, refused to provide medical attention to his ailing daughter, Fatima Gudza (18), ultimately leading to her demise.
According to Gudza, Mazino’s family vehemently follows their religious sect and rejected his daughter’s pleas for medical assistance when she fell ill. A few days before her death, Fatima was reportedly abandoned at her father’s Hobhouse house by her husband.
Seeking justice for his daughter and her two children, Gudza recently brought the matter before Chief Chikukwa’s court. He is demanding compensation for their deaths.
In a recent interview, the elderly man expressed his frustration at the lack of justice for his daughter and grandchildren. He recounted how his daughter eloped with Ethan Mazino while still a teenager and in school. The couple faced disapproval from Mazino’s parents, who disliked Fatima because she did not belong to their religious sect. Nevertheless, she persisted as their daughter-in-law.
Fatima gave birth to her first child, but tragically, the child died during her second pregnancy. The family was never informed of the first child’s death. After delivering her second child, Fatima fell seriously ill, but the Mazino family concealed the situation.
Instead of taking her to the hospital, they forcefully took her and the child to a church shrine. Fatima’s condition deteriorated, and she lost the ability to walk or speak. Eventually, they brought her and the child to Gudza’s Hobhouse house, where angry residents demanded she be taken to the hospital. Sadly, she passed away shortly after.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Fatima succumbed to a fever attack, likely due to her prolonged exposure to the cold weather during her time at the shrine.
Tragically, Fatima’s second child also passed away, and the Gudza family was never informed of the child’s death.
Gudza lamented the lack of justice for his daughter and grandchildren, accusing his in-laws of evading responsibility. He suspected that his daughter contracted the fever at the shrine, despite her desperate pleas to be taken to the hospital. During her burial, they noticed burns all over Fatima’s face and inside her mouth. The in-laws claimed the burns resulted from the porridge she had been eating.
Furthermore, the mother-in-law forcibly took away Fatima’s newborn child, stating that she did not want her son’s child to be breastfed by a “impure” mother who was receiving medication against their religious doctrine. Following Fatima’s death, the Mazino family brought her body to the Gudza family and instructed them to bury her, but they refused. The body was eventually taken to Chimanimani for burial.
The late Chief Chikukwa was handling the case, but unfortunately, he passed away before it could be resolved. Gudza has now approached the current Chief Chikukwa, hoping for justice for Fatima and her children.
Gudza’s wife, Gogo Fatima Gudza, tearfully expressed her sorrow, emphasizing that her daughter and grandchildren’s spirits are not at peace and yearn for justice. They had insisted on compensation before burial due to the wounds found on Fatima’s body. However, they complied with the late Chief Chikukwa’s advice to proceed with the burial and address the compensation issue afterward. Regrettably, they never received any compensation.
The Gudza family has had no contact with their son-in-law since Fatima’s funeral in 2015. At the time of the court hearing, the Mazino family was absent without explanation. Chief Chikukwa assured the Gudza family that he would summon them and inform them of the next court date, offering hope for the pursuit of justice and the peaceful rest of Fatima and her children.