A 29-year-old man has been jailed after he torched his neighbour’s three huts on allegations that his victim was a witch and was behind the failure of his marriage.
Kenneth Mubvumbi of Muponda Plot Chief Zimunya appeared before magistrate Langton Mukwengi facing arson charges for destroying over $1 000 worth of property.
He was jailed for 18 months. Six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour for the next five years. Mubvumbi, who apparently had two previous arson convictions, pleaded guilty.
Asked why he was so heartless to commit such an offence, Mubvumbi said:
“Your Worship I was reliably informed by a witchdoctor that my neighbours were bewitching me and were behind my divorce”.
Mukwengi said a custodial sentence was appropriate to deter would be offenders.
Public prosecutor, Shepherd Chavarika told the court that Mubvumbi torched his neighbor Pamela Murepa’s three huts at around 1300 hours on April 8 reducing everything to ashes. Damage caused, according to state papers, amounted to $1 177.
Apart from the three huts, Murepa lost a double bed, one single bed, one two-door wardrobe, five two-in-one blankets, two single blankets, one room divider, one kitchen unit, four monarch bags, a lounge set, two tables, a dressing table, two Samsung phones, radio and speaker set, two big washing plastic dishes, two chairs among others to include food and clothing.
The court was told that on the day in question, Murepa met Mubvumbi on her way to the stream to wash clothes with her father-in-law Charles Mamvura.
Her husband, Louis Mamvura, had left earlier in the day to mould bricks some 500 metres away. Mubvumbi reportedly took advantage of his neighbours’ absence to torch all their three huts before fleeing.
Moments later, Murepa saw billowing black smoke from the direction of her home and rushed back to check. When she arrived she found all her huts engulfed in flames.
A report was made to the police and an investigation revealed that the fire was not accidental but a case of arson leading to Mubvumbi’s arrest.