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10 Houses Destroyed By Fire, 8 Burnt To Death In Horrific Incidences

Police have opened investigations into the different fire-related incidents that occurred around the country over the weekend that resulted in the deaths of eight individuals, including four children, and the burning down of ten houses.

Police have, however, ruled out the possibility that any of these incidents had nothing to do with political violence.

The fire occurrences were reported in the cities of Shurugwi, Harare, Mazowe, Muzarabani, and Mutare. Suspects connected to these incidents have been captured in some instances, but others have eluded capture.

Investigations are ongoing, according to a statement from Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi of the national police.

In one of the incidents, police are investigating the death of four family members-Tonderai Muchimwe (43), Ashton Mundoko (12), Quinton Mundoko (7) and Tamari Mundoko (5) and the injury of a female juvenile, Takunda Mundoko (14), in a fire incident which occurred at Mafararikwa

Asst Comm Nyathi said on the same day, at around midnight, Tonderai Muchimwe broke into a room in which his niece, Violet Muchimwe (35) and her four children, Takunda Mundoko, Ashton Mundoko, Quinton Mundoko and Tamari Mundoko, were sleeping.

Tonderai Muchimwe, armed with a knife demanded to be intimate with his niece, leading to a scuffle. Violet Muchimwe fled leaving her children behind.

“Tonderai Muchimwe sprinkled petrol in the house and set the house on fire. As a result, Muchimwe, Ashton Mundoko, Quinton Mundoko and Tamari Mundoko were burnt beyond recognition while Takunda Mundoko sustained burns all over the body after escaping out of the room through the window,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.

In a related incident, the ZRP is also investigating circumstances surrounding the death of Emily Kamugiya (65), Letina Chimuka (70) and Maxwell Josi (12) after the thatched bedroom they were sleeping in was set on fire by an unknown suspect July 30 at Chitimbe Village in Muzarabani.

Police have since established that Chimuka was staying with the other victims after being chased away by her son from St Albert’s area on allegations of witchcraft in which she was said to be causing the illness of her grandchild.

“Investigations conducted by the police so far have not linked the two fire incidents to political violence,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.

Police in Harare are also investigating a fire incident in which a house along Abel Road, Greendale caught fire resulting in an 81-year-old woman being burnt beyond recognition on July 28.

The cause of fire is not yet known.

Meanwhile, police have reiterated that investigations are still in progress in relation to one, Brighton Mazhindu’s report at St Mary’s Police Station in Harare and another report by Leonard Kasanhai of Musonza Village A, Chiweshe over malicious damage to property by suspects who are yet to be identified.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police also confirms six reports from Hanke area, Tongogara in Shurugwi where complainants, with some not inclined towards any political party, had their 10 houses burnt on July 29, during the night.

“The ZRP has so far arrested Edson Madhuveko and Edwin Madhuveko in connection with this case. The two suspects were seen running away from the burnt huts scene,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.

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