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Highfields man sets himself on fire after argument with wife over phone password

A man from Highfields, Harare is battling for his life at Parirenyatwa Hospital after he set himself alight while trying to kill his family following an argument with his wife.

Desmond Chendambuya , 40, who resides at ZRP Highfields was remanded from his hospital bed and is being charged with attempted murder.

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His two stepchildren aged 17 and 26, his daughter (5), and wife escaped through a window while he sustained burns when a gas tank he ignited burst during the arson attack.

Harare Magistrate Donald Ndirowei presided over his case.

According to court papers, Chendambuya arrived home around midnight on November 4.

He then got into a fight with his wife Melody Ncube and demanded that she unlock her phone which she refused.

He allegedly took the phone and smashed it against the floor.

“A misunderstanding arose between the two and the accused took his daughter, aged 5, out of the dining room, closed the door and locked it from inside.

“The accused then went into the kitchen, opened a 9kg gas tank whilst the complainants were inside the room.

“He took a cigarette lighter from his pocket and ignited it causing the fire to break out from the gas tank, filling the whole room.”

He then opened the window and jumped outside through the window from the second floor of his flat.

He fled from the scene before he was apprehended a few hours later.

The court heard he was groaning in pain having sustained fractures from the jump and burns injuries.

Chendambuya was sent to Parirenyatwa Hospital for medical attention.

The damaged property includes a refrigerator, sofa, electric cables, the ceiling, window panes, and kitchen utensils.

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