JUST IN: 7 people burnt to death, 10 houses set on fire in arson attacks

File pic: Hut on fire

SEVEN people were burnt to death while 10 houses were also torched in suspected arson attacks which took place in Marange, Muzarabani and Shurugwi areas over the weekend.

National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the attacks which occurred on Saturday.

He said four family members were burnt to death while one was left injured following after a jilted uncle who had demanded ƨǝx from his niece torched the house in which she and her four children were sleeping.

“Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the death of four family members, Tonderai Muchimwe (43), Ashton Mundoko (12), Quinton Mundoko (7) and Tamari Mundoko (5) and the injury of a female juvenile, Takunda Mundoko (14), in a fire incident which occurred at Mafararikwa Village, Marange on Saturday,” he said.

Ass Com Nyathi said on the day in question and at about 12 midnight the suspect, Tonderai Muchimwe allegedly broke into the room in which his niece Violet Muchimwe (35) and her four children, Takunda, Ashton, Quinton and Tamari, were sleeping.

”Tonderai Muchimwe who was armed with a knife demanded to have ƨǝxuɑl interc0urse with his niece, leading to a scuffle,” said Ass Com Nyathi.

He said Muchimwe fled leaving her children behind, adding that Tonderai Muchimwe sprinkled petrol in the house and set the house on fire.

”As a result, Tonderai, Ashton, Quinton, and Tamari were burnt beyond recognition whilst Takunda sustained burns all over the body after escaping out of the room through the window,” said Ass Com Nyathi.

In an unrelated incident, he said, police are investigating circumstances surrounding the death of Emily Kamugiya (65), Letina Chimuka (70) and Maxwell Josi (12) after the thatched bedroom they were sleeping in was set on fire by an unknown suspect on Sunday at Chitimbe Village, Muzarabani.

“The police have established that Letina Chimuka was staying with the other victims after being chased away by her son from the St Alberts area on allegations of witchcraft in which she was said to be causing the illness of her grandchild,” he said.

Ass Com Nyathi said investigations conducted by the police so far have not linked the two fire incidents to political violence.

He said the police are also investigating six reports from Hanke area in Tongogara, Shurugwi where complainants, with some not inclined towards any political party, had their 10 houses burnt on Saturday evening.

Ass Com Nyathi said police have so far arrested two brothers Edson Madhuveko and Edwin Madhuveko in connection with the case.

“The two suspects were seen running away from the burnt huts scene. The police are warning criminal elements who are taking advantage of the current election mood in the country to settle marital and family scores that the law will ruthlessly deal with them. On the other hand, the police are warning political parties to counsel supporters and resolve either inter-party or intra-party disputes without resorting to violence,” he said.

— Herald

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