Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
A ploy to torch his sleeping ex-wife, mother-in-law and brother-in-law in their house backfired for an Epworth man after he was seriously burnt by the fire, leaving his would-be victims to come to his rescue.
Tinei Tsikirai (31) of 1079 Makomo, allegedly doused his former in-laws’ house with petrol which, unbeknown to him, also splashed onto his clothes causing them to catch fire when he torched the house. The jilted man is now battling for his life in hospital.
Tsikirai was yesterday remanded on his hospital bed to July 13 by magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe. He is facing five counts of attempted murder, malicious damage to property and assault.
Prosecutor Ms Sharon Mashavira alleged that on June 26, Tsikirai had a misunderstanding with his ex-wife Nyarai Mwale.
He is said to have beaten her up and threatened to cause more harm to her.
It is the State’s case that on June 27 Tsikirai went to his former in-laws’ house at around 10pm. His ex-wife was sleeping in the same room with her mother Judith Tasi and brother when they heard footsteps coming from outside the house.
Before they could get up to investigate, it is alleged Tsikirai suddenly broke the bedroom window and doused the room with petrol.
He then set the room ablaze, the court heard. Unbeknown to him, when he poured the petrol some of it spilled on his face and clothes and upon lighting the fire, his clothes also caught fire and he was seriously burnt.
Mwale and his family screamed for help waking up their neighbours who came to their rescue. The neighbours, the court heard, broke the main door and managed to rescue the trio who escaped the inferno by a whisker. Tsikirai, who was also screaming for help as he was burning, was apprehended by the trio with the help of onlookers.
They then handed him over to the police before he was rushed to Harare Central Hospital where he is admitted.