An 85-year-old man in Hurungwe is facing two counts of murder after he allegedly burnt down a hut in which his former girlfriend, her child and new lover were sleeping. Alfred Salamani of 56 Hill Top outside Karoi, appeared before Karoi magistrate Mr Obedience Matare last Thursday, facing two counts of murder and one of attempted murder. It is alleged that after discovering that his former girlfriend Rugare Kahlamezi had a new lover, Vimbai Charumbira, Salamani hatched a plan of revenge.
Around 9pm on August 20, prosecutor Mr Webster Dimingu alleged that Salamani went to Kahlamezi’s homestead at Protea Farm in possession of a box of matches and petrol in a 1,25 litre container.
It is alleged that after hiding the petrol and matches under a tree close to the homestead, Salamani closely monitored Kahlamezi and Charumbira’s movements. It is alleged that after Kahlamezi, her daughter Faith Chateya and Charumbira had retired to their bedroom hut, Salamani tied the door from outside using a strand of wire and sprinkled petrol at the door and thatched roof before setting the hut alight.
Under the cover of darkness, it is alleged, Salamani left, leaving the inferno engulfing the three. Although Vimbai managed to escape with serious burns, Kahlamezi and her daughter Faith died in the inferno.
A post-mortem done at Karoi Hospital showed that the two died of asphyxia. Police have since recovered the container and the box of matches used by Salamani during the commission of the crime. Mr Matare advised Salamani to apply for bail at the High Court.