A 37-year-old Harare man escaped death by a whisker after his wife allegedly doused his blankets with paraffin and set them ablaze as he lay in a deep slumber, in an attempt to kill him, the court heard.

The incident, which left the couple's neighbours shell-shocked, occurred on November 28 last year in Kambuzuma, Harare where the suspect, Philione Mangachena (30) lived with her husband Christopher Madamombe (37), who is the complainant.

Mangachena was not asked to plead when she appeared before provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe and was remanded in custody to Tuesday next week where she is again expected to appear in court for the announcement of her trial date.

Prosecutor Gift Zumbika said that on the day in question, the couple enjoyed the day well and later in the day Madamombe proceeded to the city to welcome his family which was coming from Mutoko.

The court heard that the family later arrived and proceeded to Madamombe's residence where his wife was.

During the same night, it is alleged Madamombe was awakened from sleep after feeling intense heat as his blankets were on fire.

The court heard that he threw away the blankets and ran out of the room and as he exited, he allegedly saw his wife standing beside the burning blankets staring at the raging flames.

To his surprise, the court heard, Mangachena just stood in the room watching without rendering any assistance to Madamombe.

While attempting to save himself from the fire, the court heard, Madamombe further made efforts to rescue his two children and was assisted by his neighbours who had responded to his calls for help.

Madamombe was later taken to a police station where a report was made after which he was referred to hospital for treatment and his wife was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

He suffered serious burns and was detained at Harare Hospital from that day until January 24 this year.


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