Man torches hut with sleeping baby over photograph
A MAN from Matobo set his ex- girlfriend’s bedroom hut on fire while her one-year-old baby was sleeping inside because she did not want to give him his photo back.
Paradzai Makamanzi (36) told Plumtree magistrate, Mr Livard Philemon, that his ex-girlfriend, Ms Mary Sibanda, was using the photograph to bewitch him.
Earlier, he had told court officials that he torched the hut because Ms Sibanda infected him with HIV.
Makamanzi pleaded guilty to malicious damage to property and Mr Philemon ordered him to be examined by two doctors who confirmed that he was mentally sound.
He sentenced the arsonist to nine months imprisonment, suspended three months were on condition that Makamanzi does not commit a similar offence in the next five years and further suspended three months on condition Makamanzi pays $379 for the damaged property.
Makamanzi will serve an effective three months in jail.
He told the court that he consulted a prophet who told him that Ms Sibanda was using his photo to bewitch him.
“I fell ill and when I consulted a prophet he told me that my ex-girlfriend had a photo of mine which she was using to bewitch me.
“When I confronted her demanding the photo back she refused to return it and this angered me. That’s why I torched her bedroom hut,” Makamanzi said.
Prosecuting, Mr Mazorodze said Makamanzi set Ms Sibanda’s bedroom hut on fire on September 6 around 8PM.
He said Ms Sibanda was sitting in a kitchen hut with her family when she realised that her bedroom hut was on fire and her one-year-old son was sleeping inside.
She managed to rescue her son but her valuables were destroyed.
“Makamanzi had a misunderstanding with his ex-girlfriend as he was demanding his photograph back. On 6 September he went to Ms Sibanda’s home and he was spotted loitering around. He later set his ex-girlfriend’s bedroom hut on fire and fled from the scene,” said Mr Mazorodze.
He said Ms Sibanda and her family tried to extinguish the fire but they failed and property worth $379 was destroyed.
Mr Mazorodze said the villagers traced shoeprints from the homestead which led to Makamanzi’s home.
The matter was reported to the police resulting in his arrest.— @DubeMatutu.
Mr Albert Phiri