A man from Tsholotsho in Zimbabwe has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for setting fire to huts where his nieces and nephews were sleeping after a dispute over inheritance with his brother.
Ephram Mlotshwa, 41, pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder in a Bulawayo regional court but was convicted. He was ordered to serve 30 months of his 5 year sentence with the remaining 18 months suspended for 5 years.
The court heard that on October 12, 2022 around 10pm, Zanda Mlotshwa was at a business centre when he received a call from his wife Sandisiwe Ndlovu saying his brother Ephram was burning their homestead.
Zanda rushed home and found two bedroom huts where his children were sleeping were on fire. He managed to rescue the children but the property inside was reduced to ashes.
Zanda’s wife saw Ephram burning the huts and saw which direction he fled in. Zanda and villagers tracked Ephram’s footprints to the business centre and apprehended him, with the footprints matching his shoes.
The matter was reported to police and investigations led to Ephram’s arrest. The value of damaged property was $7.5 million Zimbabwean dollars and nothing was recovered.