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Hurungwe man burns down bedroom hut… kills estranged wife, child and two relatives

By Noah Pito in Karoi

A Hurungwe man is facing four counts of murder after he allegedly burnt down a bedroom hut in which his wife, child and two relatives were sleeping before attempting to kill himself.

File picture of hut on fire
File picture of hut on fire

Mathias Tembo (32) was not asked to plead when he appeared before Karoi magistrate Mr Takunda Nyamandi recently. He was remanded in custody and was advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

It is alleged that Tembo committed the offence after being frustrated by his wife, Zvisinei Kwaibvawani, who had deserted him and was now staying with her parents at Helwyn Farm in Karoi North.

According to court records, around 4:30pm on November 9 this year, Tembo bought a litre of petrol at Nyangawe shops from Mr Sign Chawabvunza before he walked 50km to Helwyn Farm where he wanted to burn down the hut.

On arrival at Kwaibvawani homestead around 10pm, Tembo who was armed with petrol in an opaque beer bottle and a lighter, allegedly headed for the hut in which the four were sleeping.

Tembo, it is alleged, locked the metal door to the hut before sprinkling some petrol on the thatch, beginning with the area around the door. Using the lighter, Tembo allegedly set the hut alight before vanishing into the dark.

A relative, Mr Dzingai Kwaibvawani, tried to rescue them, but failed because the door was locked and secured with a chain. Tembo’s wife, son Atlas, Lydia Chiwawa and Florence Chiwawa died in the inferno.

“Upon hearing that police were looking for him the following day, Tembo took rat poison and climbed into a nearby mountain from where the police located him and took him to hospital.

In a related matter a man from Paratema Village under Chief Nematombo in Hurungwe West, appeared before a Karoi magistrate accused of fatally assaulting his wife over who was responsible for her pregnancy.

Moziva Madyirapanze (27) recently appeared before Karoi magistrate Mr Obedience Matare for allegedly murdering Silinganiso Kahonde. It is alleged that Madyirapanze killed his wife after accusing her of having been impregnated by another man.

The fatal incident occurred on October 24 while the two were coming from Karereshi Business Centre. It is alleged that Madyirapanze used sticks to beat up his wife all over the body.

Kahonde sustained a swollen head and bruises all over her body. She later died due to the injuries. Police have since recovered the wooden sticks used by Madyirapanze to assault the woman. Soon after committing the alleged offence, Madyirapanze took an unknown poison to take his life but was rescued by family members who took him to hospital. The Herald

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