A BRAWL over a missing $2 note ended tragically on Sunday afternoon after an angry Hobhouse man set a wooden cabin on fire resulting in a fierce fireball that killed one person and seriously injured another.
The shocking incident sent tongues wagging in one of Mutare’s fast-growing high-density suburbs.
Abshalom Chitsiku died on admission at Mutare Provincial Hospital after sustaining serious injuries all over his body, while another unidentified victim is battling for his life at the provincial referral centre.
Four others escaped with minor injuries
The suspect, Rodrick Pfungwa Murorwa (28), has since been arraigned before Mutare senior magistrate Mrs Sekai Chiwundura facing murder and attempted murder charges.
He was asked not to plead and was advised to apply for bail at the High Court since he is facing a Third Schedule offence.
He will be back in court on routine remand on July 6.
Mr Shepherd Chawarika prosecuted.
The court heard that Pfungwa kicked a burning paraffin-fuelled stove in his wooden cabin while his eight friends were seated on the bed following a misunderstanding of the missing $2 note.
The stove exploded and torched the cabin, resulting in the occupants being trapped in the raging flames.
Six people, including Murorwa, escaped with minor burns and two others were seriously burnt.
Although police confirmed the death of Chitsiku, they were yet to identify the names of the victims who were injured in the inferno.
The awful incident happened at House Number 1943 Hobhouse 2, at around 11:30am.
Assistant Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Muzondiwa Clean said investigations were still underway.
“We can confirm the death of Abshalom Chitsiku. We are digging deep into the matter to ascertain what really transpired at the house. We urge people to resolve disputes amicably than resort to violence,” said Ass Insp Clean.
According to neighbours and residents who witnessed the tragic incident, the razed wooden cabin had nine people inside — seven men and two women.
“We gather that Pfungwa had a misunderstanding with his colleagues over a missing $2 note. In fact, the guys had just been paid their dues at their workplace. He reacted by kicking the stove and that set the house on fire,” said a neighbour who requested not to be mentioned by name.
In an unrelated incident that happened in Dangamvura, four commercial sex workers in the Federation section of the suburb who lived together in a small cabin will live to regret snatching a client from fellow ladies of the trade last Saturday night after their rented apartment was set on fire the next day.
The four, who were only identified by their neighbours as Mary, Fadzi, Lorraine and Ruvimbo, were understood to have lured an unidentified cash-flaunting client last Saturday night at a local night club.
Apparently the client had been attached to a different clique of sex workers during the same night.
This did not go down well with the losing crew, who then decided to take the war to the quartet’s doorstep the following day.
Neighbours interviewed by this publication said the four sex workers have since been rendered homeless and were left with nothing, but only the clothes they were putting on when their cabin was set on fire.
“There are four sex workers who reside here and they had a scuffle over a client last Saturday night at a nearby bar. The next day, which was a Sunday, their rivals came and assaulted them.
“In fact, one of the girls who live here sustained a deep cut on the hand after she was stabbed by a knife. The other one sustained head injuries during the fight. After the four who live here were overpowered, their cabin was set on fire.
“This happened in full view of all surrounding neighbours and passers-by. We are not sure where they (the four) went after the incident, but are certain that they were left with nothing except the clothes that they were wearing on Sunday,” said one male neighbour who chose to speak on condition of anonymity.
By the time of going to Press it was not clear if the four had lodged a complaint with the police.
Police could neither confirm nor deny the incident.
“We do not have that report from Dangamvura,” Asst Insp Clean.
The four sex workers could not be reached for comment as they had deserted their rented cabin by the time this news crew visited their place on Monday afternoon.
The Federation section of Dangamvura is widely referred to as KumaMahalape, owing to its squalid conditions.-ManicaPost