Man, 22, fatally burns ex-wife

HARARE - A Murewa man has appeared  before the High Court for allegedly fatally burning his ex-wife and child by locking them inside a hut and setting the house on fire in a suspected crime of passion.

The 22-year-old man, Isaac Maruza, who is facing murder charges, claims that he was nowhere near the crime scene on the fateful day.

Prosecutor Douglas Chesa claims Maruza killed his ex-wife Shorai Gwekwe out of jealousy, after finding her drinking beer with other men.

But, Maruza told High Court Judge Garainesu Mawadze, that there was no reason for him to kill the 41-year-old woman, whom he was no longer interested in. He said that there was no bad blood between him and Gwekwe.

“The relationship was terminated mutually as he (Maruza) had to pursue young girls of his age, who obviously were suitable for marriage and could give him children,” said Maruza’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo.

He said he did not pass through Gwekwe’s house on the fateful day.

According to State papers, the incident took place in October 2007.

It is alleged on the fateful day, Maruza spent the day drinking beer at Kajiwa homestead, together with his friend Nicholas Magumura.

The court heard Gwekwe was also drinking beer at the same homestead, while in the company of some men.

Maruza allegedly left the place together with Magumura and proceeded to Kafura Business Centre, where they continued with their drinking spree.

He later left the business centre at around 7pm. He allegedly went to Gwekwe’s residence and locked the hut from outside while Gwekwe was inside, before setting the house on fire.

Maruza was seen leaving the premises by Isaac Gwekwe after allegedly committing the offence.

According to State papers, Gwekwe and her daughter Florence were burned to death.

The matter was reported to the police, leading to Maruza’s arrest. A doctor’s report showed that the duo died as a result of severe burns.

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