36-YEAR-OLD Fadzanai Musarurwa is a woman who is grateful that her family survived the horrific seige by armed robbers at her Chadcombe home on Monday night where her husband delved into his past experience as a CID marksman to shoot dead three of the menacing robbers.
At the same time, Musarurwa, who was pulled out of the bathroom by the robbers where she had sought refugee, is in pain at what the future is like for her three children who will most likely have permanent emotional scars from the traumatising hostage incident.
The five hostages who were being held in the house were:
Fadzanai Musarurwa, aged 36, who is Nemaisa’s wife;
Fadzanai’s brother Masjmba Musarurwa, age not given;
Courage Nemaisa, aged 18, who is the Nemaisa’s firstborn child;
An unnamed Nemaisa child, aged 12 and in Grade 7;
The Nemaisa’s youngest child, aged 7.
The 12-year-old child had to attend a Grade Seven ZIMSEC examination Tuesday morning, just hours after witnessing so much blood on the floor as his dad dropped them dead one after another.
“What happened last night is not something normal,” Musarurwa has opened up.
“I am afraid that my children will be traumatized for good especially the one in Grade Seven.
“We were all tied up, the robbers instructed my son (the Grade 7 pupil) to go get a gun from one of their colleagues who was lying down in blood.
“You can imagine how that made him feel, he is just a child, and being subjected to such traumatic experiences is really hard for him and also us as his family.
“I am afraid that he is traumatised to the extent that he won’t be able to concentrate in his final exam.
“If he was not writing an exam today, we were not going to let him go to school,” Musarurwa said.
She added one of her children was acting normal, probably benefitting from the bliss of infancy.
“As for me, I am just calm. I cannot believe what happened to this end. During the whole ordeal, I was just calm, I had to be calm for my children.
“My seven-year-old daughter is actually quite normal, I think it is because she doesn’t really know what is going on.
“She is taking everyone into the house and showing them around what happened.
“As a mother, I am worried about their mental wellbeing, I think we should all go for therapy because the trauma is too much for us,” she said.
The eldest son, Courage Nemaisa, 18, said the whole experience was traumatic for him and his siblings.
“At that time I was ready to die,” he said. “During the whole ordeal I was just thinking that this is the day that I am going to die.
“When I went to the room to call my father, I told myself that I am just going to take the risk, whatever happens I don’t know, I am just going to make the call.
“I am just afraid that my little siblings who were subjected to this will be scared for life, mentally. Just imagine the stuff that we usually watch on television happening in real life.
“For a moment I thought I was dreaming and that I would just wake up and realise that it was all a dream,” said Courage.
Courage lived up to his name that Monday night when he made probably the most important call of his life to his dad, who was away in Chisipite, that they were under attack from armed robbers. It’s a call that could have easily got him shot, but he tactfully made it right before the robbers stormed the bedroom where they were now scrounging for cover during the break-in.
“When we first heard the banging of the door, I immediately grabbed my mother’s phone and called my dad telling him that we were under attack from the robbers,” sais Courage.
“I told him they were armed and I quickly dropped the phone so that they would not see me since they were advancing towards the bedroom.
“Luckily they did not notice it and my father did not take long to drive from Mandara to arrive at the scene.”
That phone call led to five of Harare’s marauding robbers being stopped dead or arrested. The call also probably saved lives.
Narrating his ordeal to a leading tabloid, Courage said the whole hostage situation was so tense and unreal he even thought he was possibly in some nightmarish dream.
There are very few 18-year-olds in Zimbabwe, or even 50-year-olds, who have seen bodies drop dead right before their own eyes the way Courage and his siblings witnessed their hero dad take the war to the robbers’ doorstep that night.
Courage described how his father expertly took out each of the three robbers that lost their lives.
“The first one was hit by the chest before he crawled to another room. He was now seeking for help. The second one was shot by the head.
“The team leader asked my young brother to go and collect a firearm from the first victim,” he said.
“As my little brother handed him the gun, my dad patiently waited to avoid shooting my little brother.
“My dad was who was shooting from outside hit the guy as he leaned forward to receive the gun from my brother.
“The remaining two were now thinking the fire was coming from the entrance.
“During that moment the remaining two robbers noticed that there was someone outside and they were forcing me to switch off the lights but I told them, they had censors,” he said.
Then there was that moment when the father’s gun went silent and they probably were confused what had happened to their saviour. It later turned out he had run out of ammunition and had gone to get some backup from the police and a group of friends. A team of nearly twenty police commandos accompanied him back home to finish the business.
In a subsequent interview with The Herald, Joseph Nemaisa narrated the horrendous scene which left his house bloodied and reeking of death. Watch the clip below courtesy of The Herald