SIX of the ten children of a prominent Mangwe District couple who were gruesomely murdered on Tuesday night by suspected robbers will make an emotional return from overseas to bid farewell to their parents who will be buried at Empandeni Mission on Monday.
The children, who were last home in December, will take the long flights from their bases in Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa to Harare before taking another long journey by road from the capital to Bulawayo.
From Bulawayo they will connect to Plumtree before taking the last mile to the family homestead in what will be an emotional journey.
Under different circumstances, they would be overjoyed coming home to meet their parents, Mr Nicholas Nleya and his wife Margaret, and four local-based siblings, but this will be a painful reunion at the back of their parents’ brutal murder.
The 83-year-old Mr Nleya and his wife (78) were burnt beyond recognition at their home in Mzaza Village in Empandeni before intruders made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Arriving home, the Nleya children will likely find multitudes of people coming to pay their last respects to the prominent couple which was known in the community for charitable deeds.
Their parents will not be there to run to meet them, to hug and even kiss them, but their charred remains lying in two coffins.
Mourners and police at the Nleya homestead in Mangwe District in Matabeleland South and the room in which the elderly couple was burnt
Mr Nleya who was known to slaughter cows whenever his children came home, will not be there to give them the honour of choosing the beast to be slaughtered.
They will see the house were their parents breathed their last in a painful way.
They will see the remains of what the fire left of their bodies and property. They will ask many questions and find few answers as the people behind the murder have not been arrested.
It will be a difficult farewell, while in most funerals people have body viewing to bid farewell to their beloved ones, theirs will be the most heartbreaking moment if they will be strong enough to look at the charred remains of their beloved parents.
The family`s homestead, a landmark in the entire community, is testimony of the love the children had for their parents.
They had bought a car and even hired a chauffer to drive them around.
They had provided a huge water bowser so that they do not go far to fetch water.
Family Spokesperson Mr Patrick Nyathi said the Forensic Investigators from Harare arrived at the homestead yesterday to assist with further investigations.
“We will collect the bodies on Sunday afternoon and travel to the village. There is a request from our pastor for a service to be done at the church which they loved before we reach home, they will be laid in different graves,” said Nyathi.
He said the children will arrive today at the Robert Mugabe International Airport.
“On arrival they will undergo the mandatory PCR Covid-19 testing and all the health formalities. Once there are cleared, they will make the long journey to Empandeni,” said Mr Nyathi.
“The children were last home in December and we had a wonderful time. It is sad that they are now coming back home to bury their parents who died in this painful way.”
Mr Nyathi said there are only two grave sites in the village with one meant for non-Catholics while all Catholics are buried at the mission grave yard.
Contacted for comment, National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Nyathi asked to be called today for an update on the investigations.