By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
A man from Bulilima has been arrested for setting his girlfriend’s bedroom hut on fire after she dumped him.
Khumbulani Moyo (29) of Sikhathini area went to Ms Phephisile Ncube’s homestead at midnight to confront her over the break-up.
He could not locate her and instead torched her bedroom hut and fled from the scene. Moyo was convicted on his own plea of guilty to malicious damage to property charges by Plumtree magistrate, Mr Joshua Mawere last week.
He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and three months were suspended on condition he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years. Four months were further suspended on condition that he pays $250 restitution to his ex-girlfriend. The remaining five months were suspended on condition that he performs 175 hours of community service at Gwambe Primary School.
Prosecuting, Mrs Charlote Mafemba said Moyo set Ms Ncube’s bedroom hut on fire on 25 May while she was away.
“On 25 May Moyo went to his ex-girlfriend’s homestead around 12 midnight to confront her for ending their relationship. Moyo didn’t find her as she was at her grandmother’s homestead.
“This made Moyo furious and he set Ms Ncube’s bedroom hut on fire. Property worth $250 which comprised clothes, blankets and valuable documents were destroyed in the fire,” said Mrs Mafemba.
She said Moyo fled from the scene without anyone noticing but villagers managed to track his shoeprints.
The matter was reported to the police resulting in Moyo’s arrest.
In his mitigation Moyo said he mistakenly set the bedroom hut on fire while he was trying to illuminate to check if she was in the hut.
“I didn’t burn the hut intentionally Your Worship. I had gone to my girlfriend’s homestead to look for her and when I didn’t get any response after knocking I decided to check whether she wasn’t around.
“I used a match stick to illuminate the room but it burnt my finger and I threw it to the ground. I assumed that the flame had died down and I walked away only to realise that the hut was on fire when I was a few metres away,” he said.
Moyo said he wanted to put out the fire but the hut was already engulfed in flames. He said he fled from the scene out of fear. The Sunday News