By Andile Tshuma
A 21 year old man from Bulawayo allegedly doused his maternal grandfather with petrol and set him alight leading to his death, after accusing him of bewitching him.
Kudzai Munemo, a Bulawayo Polytechnic student from Cowdray Park suburb, is alleged to have committed the horrific offence on September 7 at around 7PM and the old man succumbed to severe burns last Wednesday while admitted to the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).
Kudzai had an altercation with his grandfather, only identified as Mr Munemo, at his grandparents’ home in Gwabalanda suburb.
He was allegedly accusing Mr Munemo of being a wizard who was supernaturally blocking his path to success in life.
During the heated argument, Kudzai allegedly went outside and returned armed with a bottle of petrol.
Sources close to the incident said he poured it on the old man who fled while the highly flammable liquid dripped from his clothes.
“Kudzai pursued him with a box of matches. He struck a match and threw it on his grandfather, instantly setting him on fire,” said a source.
The source said Kudzai fled while his grandfather, who was engulfed in a huge ball of flames, screamed for help.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the incident.
“We are dealing with a case in which a male adult aged 21 set his grandfather alight after dousing him petrol. He is in police custody and is assisting with investigations,” she said.
“On September 7, 2018 at around 6:45 PM, the informant, who is the complainant’s daughter, was in the kitchen when she heard the accused who is the complainant’s grandson having a misunderstanding in the sitting room, accusing the complainant of bewitching the family”.
Ms Munemo, Kudzai’s mother, allegedly found her son already holding a two litre bottle of petrol, threatening to burn his grandfather.
“She tried to snatch it away from him but he poured it all over his grandfather. In the process, some of the petrol spilled onto her clothes,” said Chief Insp Simango.
Ms Munemo ran out of the house fearing that her son might light a fire, setting them alight as petrol is highly flammable.
Mr Munemo ran away from the scene using the kitchen door, and Kudzai allegedly went after him using the sitting room door.
He caught up with his grandfather outside and set him alight using a match stick.
Ms Munemo ran away from the scene in fear as she also had some petrol on her clothing.
The old man, who was on fire, screamed in agony for help and a neighbour who was only identified as SaTanaka rushed to the scene and used sand to put out the flames.
Kudzai fled from the scene and was arrested by police officers at his home in Cowdray Park suburb.
Mr Munemo’s son rushed him to UBH where he died last Wednesday.
Chief Insp Simango urged the public to desist from violence when solving disputes.
Kudzai is expected to appear in court today. The Chronicle.