When Belinda died I lost a friend and a sister. Since her passing on a lot has been said about what happened. I have resisted the push to defend myself in respect to Belinda’s memory. I have always asked myself, the question, what would Belinda want me to do. Would she have wanted me to have a public spat with her family?

The answer to that question has always been negative. I have also asked why my name is being dragged through the mud? Is my offence or crime that I miraculously survived an accident that killed one of my friends? If I had gone when Belinda went what would be the story today? Would my family be on the case of the Mutinhiri family accusing them of having a daughter that drove a car that killed their daughter. This I wish would never be the situation when such tragedies happen because accidents do happen and some are fatal.

Belinda and I had been friends for a very long time and even lived together in the United Kingdom. We were together on the tragic day because we were friends. She came to pick me up where I was attending a function and insisted on playing the host for me in Zimbabwe. We went out and had a good time just like friends do.

On our way back we initially were talking then I drifted to sleep as she drove us home. I don’t know what happened but when I came around I was in hospital. I only learnt that Belinda was gone after her funeral because my family shielded me from the tragic news.

I had to be told that based on when we left Borrowdale we were both discovered 2 hours later by a passing policeman who sought help. The police statements say the passenger seatbelt that strapped me up in my seat had to be cut to release me. This is one of the things that made it clear to the police that I wasn’t driving. I am also told that there were people gathered at site when I was cut out.

When I was in hospital, the case had caught public interest so my family tried to protect me from prying media interest as I was not yet out of the woods.

My whole family attended the house of Belindas mum on Sunday 4 September 2016 to console with the family. They report being treated with hostility and their condolences were snubbed. They report very palpable tension and passive aggression. My mother tried her best but left in humiliation.

My brother who lived on RSA tried to go to the house to pass his condolences and request my bag of clothes and bank cards that was left in Belindas flat. He was also treated with hostility and at the time I was still in hospital.

At this point I was still critical.
I was moved from Parirenyatwa due to concerns of my condition at the time. I was taken to the Avenues and initially treated there. I was moved from there again due to the amount of media and public interest.

The surgeons responsible for my care and my family were making these decisions on my behalf as I was not yet in a position to do so. I was again moved to the private wing of Parirenyatwa with security due to my vulnerable state and too many people trying to get access to me.

When I was eventually discharged from hospital I was advised that the Mutinhiri family had already accused me of killing my friend and I was not welcome there. I needed further treatment and rehabilitation. My travel Insurance facilitated for my medical repatriation to the United Kingdom for further treatment.

I did not kill my friend through witchcraft, occult or murder. An accident happened when my friend was driving and there is no dispute and to who was driving. There is no reason given for why I would want my friend dead and how I killed her, because these don’t exist. I only learnt later from statements that Belinda died on the spot and I was taken to Parirenyatwa by ambulance called by the passing police officer who was on his bike.
I also have seen the police statement by the police officer and Ambulance which clearly states Belinda died on the spot and where I was found.

I cannot be bitter with the Mutinhiri family for their hurtful statements because they are grieving. But I would wish for Belinda’s sake that the throwing of mud should stop. Belinda left a beautiful daughter. It would be unkind to her that having lost her mother tragically she sees her name dragged through muck and her aunties at each other’s necks. I plead with the Mutinhiri family for Belinda and her daughter’s sake that we find in ourselves to dignify Belinda’s memory by our conduct towards each other.

As for Vimbai I did try to reach out to the family through her while I was recovering in UK and I was told she refused stating that the sound of my name gives her cold shivers.

All the information on this tragic accident is at the police station and at all the hospitals. I was only interviewed by the police 3 weeks after the accident due to the fact I was not in a fit state to be interviewed. I was told by the police how I was taken to the hospital. I have never survived any other accident in Zimbabwe which again am falsely accused me of. Even should that have been true that would only make me a victim rather than a witch.

Belinda wherever she is knows the truth. There is no blood on my hands. And I don’t intend to put her name in the public domain except to celebrate her well lived life. This feud is one thing I know she wouldn’t have wished for.

Glorianne Francis