HARARE – A 43-YEAR-old married man who could not stomach being dumped by his lover doused the ex-girlfriend’s bedroom with petrol before setting it ablaze killing four people in the process, a Harare magistrate has heard.
Bernard Mazhandu Mucheka of Mhuriyengwe Village in Chivhu, who is facing murder charges, is accused of pouring five litres of petrol through the bedroom window before putting it on fire.
Magistrate Don Ndirowei did not ask Mucheka to plead and remanded him in custody to May 22.
Ndirowei advised Mucheka to apply for bail at the High Court.
The court heard that sometime in February this year, the now deceased Lorraine Mtetwa, 40, realised that Mucheka was married and called off their relationship.
This did not go down well with Mucheka, who sort a way to fix her for dumping him.
It is the State’s case that on April 20, Mucheka went to Mtetwa’s place of residence in Epworth, carrying a container of petrol.
Prosecutor Tungamirai Chakurira told the court that upon arriving at the house in the dead of the night, Mucheka broke a windowpane to Mtetwa’s bedroom and poured the petrol before setting the place on fire.
Inside the room lay Mtetwa, Rutendo Makarati, 16, Ruvimbo Makarati, 13, Melisa Makarati, 8, Shamiso Gohodza, 16, Colleta Gohodza, 17, Gamuchirai Gohodza, 15. Another person Lovemore Gohodza, 19, was in the adjacent room.
All the people in the room sustained serious burns as they were fast asleep except for Lovemore who escaped unhurt.
The injured were then taken to Harare Central Hospital, where Mtetwa died on April 23, Colleta died on April 24 while Shamiso and Rutendo passed away on April 25.
A medical affidavit showed that they died due to burns sustained while the remaining three are still in the intensive care unit. – Helen Kadirire