Man torches hut with sleep­ing baby over pho­to­graph

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/feature - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu Plumtree Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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