By Abel Zhakata
RESIDENTS of Mutare’s Dangamvura high-density suburb were last week left shell-shocked after a man doused his wife and children with a highly flammable liquid before setting them alight following a dispute over sadza.
His three-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after a vicious fireball badly burnt his face, while his wife and a six-year-old-girl were also burnt on the hand and head respectively.
Police have since launched a manhunt for Joseph Mudzembwe (36) of House Number 111555, Federation 3, who disappeared after committing the offence.
He is facing attempted murder charges. for words to explain the gory event.
They said they had to rescue the family after Mudzembwe blocked the exit in an attempt to see to it that they were burnt in the flames.
“I have never seen anything like that in my life. How can a man burn his wife and children? We had to run to rescue them when his wife screamed for help, he blocked the exit and there was nowhere to run. He disappeared after committing the crime. No one is at home at the moment because his family is admitted at Mutare Provincial Hospital,” said a neighbour who chose not to be named.
Acting Manicaland police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Muzondiwa Clean said the incident occurred at around 8pm on April 28.
“The suspect was coming from a beerhall when he committed the offence. He was served with sadza by his wife, Precious Nyabara (26), when he arrived home. An argument broke out over the sadza resulting in the accused threatening to burn the wife and the two children. In the process, he took a plastic container which had methylated spirit.
He then stood at the door and sprayed the highly flammable liquid into the air towards his family. He took a match stick and lit up the place. As his family screamed for help with nowhere to go, he blocked the exit. Neighbours heard screams and came to the rescue. Mudzembwe then bolted from the scene.”
Asst Insp Clean said anyone with information concerning his whereabouts must contact their nearest police station. Manica Post