A Harare-based police officer Matthew Matongo, who allegedly doused his wife with paraffin before setting her ablaze following an undisclosed domestic dispute, was on Tuesday denied bail and remanded in custody to September 30.
Matongo — whose rank is not mentioned in court papers — is based at Budiriro Police Station. He is being charged with the attempted murder of his wife Evidence Chikasha.
The incident occured on July 23 this year. The court heard that Chikasha sustained serious burns on her chest and neck.
The case was first recorded by police as physical abuse before the courts altered it to attempted murder. Matongo is being charged under Section 189(1) as read with Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
In her statement, Chikasha appealed for justice to prevail as this was not the first time her husband had allegedly physically abused her.
The state outline reads: “On July 23, 2013, complainant and accused had a misunderstanding and as a result they started arguing. The accused then poured an unknown amount of paraffin on the complainant and struck a matchstick, thus setting the complainant on fire . . .”
However, in his defence, Matongo said his wife set herself ablaze to fix him.
“I deny the allegations that are being levelled against me. The complainant locked the door and took a paraffin stove that is when I stopped her. I then tried to cool her down, but she was uncontrollable. I then unlocked the door and made my way out . . . The complainant poured paraffin (on herself) and lit herself up in order to achieve her goal that she wants to leave me arrested and in jail,” Matongo said in his warned and cautioned statement.