Police in Zvishavane have launched a manhunt for a local man who allegedly set alight a room that he was renting for his girlfriend after he found her with another man.
The fugitive Tafara Zhou (32), who was accusing his girlfriend, identified only as Dorothy, of entertaining a rival in a room he was renting for her, reportedly bought some petrol and sprinkled it in the room before setting it ablaze.
Police in Zvishavane confirmed the incident which occurred last Monday in Mandava high-density suburb.
“We take keen interest to interview Zhou in connection with the arson case. He is said to have gone into hiding after committing the offence,” said a police officer close to the investigations.
Zvishavane Town’s chief fire officer Mr Rerai Muchara confirmed the incident.
“What I know is that police are still conducting their investigations but the information we got when we arrived at the scene was that there was a misunderstanding which had occurred between some lovers to do with infidelity issues resulting in the man torching the room.
“We, however, reacted in time and managed to put out the fire before it had spread to other rooms,” said Mr Muchara.
He said the affected house belonged to a Zvishavane councillor, Mrs Fatuma Phiri.
Mr Muchara bemoaned the increase in suspected arson cases in the mining town due to family disputes.
“It is worrying because only two weeks ago, we responded to another emergency call in Isaiah Park where a man torched a house following a dispute with his wife. Unfortunately, property was lost in this case because the fire quickly spread through the ceiling when we arrived, but we also managed to put out the fire.
Cllr Phiri, who owns the house allegedly set alight by Zhou, confirmed the incident but declined to comment further.