Thursday, 12 August 2021


A BULAWAYO woman has been left to pick up the pieces after her estranged husband set her four-roomed house on fire, destroying all her property.

Since the Friday night incident, Mrs Thembelani Ncube from Cowdray Park suburb wakes up each morning, leaves her relative’s house where she is temporarily sleeping and heads back to the remains on her house where she spends most of her day clearing the debris.

Mrs Ncube said each trip back to her house was a constant reminder of what her 13-year marriage to her abusive ex-husband had cost her. She said the man was arrested, appeared in court and was remanded in custody.

When a Chronicle news crew arrived at her house yesterday, Mrs Ncube was sweeping in her house trying to clean the remaining debris. Heaps of her destroyed belongings could be seen in her yard which she said she hopes to remove soon.

She said the fire destroyed all the property in a room which she was using and part of the property in another room which was being used by a tenant.

Mrs Ncube said the fire brigade was able to contain the fire before it could spread to other rooms. She said before her ex-husband set the house on fire, he tried to assault her and she fled from the house.

“My ex-husband arrived at my house while I was cooking outside and he advanced towards me with the intention to assault me. I realised that my life was in danger and I fled from the house and headed to the Cowdray Park Police Station to make a report,” she said.

“A few minutes after I had left, I received a phone call from my neighbour telling me that my house was on fire. I rushed back and from a distance I could see my house in flames. I grew weak in the knees seeing my house engulfed by flames. My neighbours took a hose pipe and tried to put out the fire. This helped to contain it a bit until the fire brigade arrived. I bought that house before I met him and it’s the only valuable asset I have.”

Mrs Ncube said she lost her furniture, food, kitchen utensils, clothes, blankets, her important documents among other things. She said the fire caused a lot of damage to her house.

Mrs Ncube said she has to replace part of the roofing, windows, doors, electricity tubing, repair damaged walls and repaint the house.

“The house was seriously damaged and I don’t even know where to start or where I will get the money. I was using one room while my two other tenants were using the other rooms. All of my property which was in the room I use was damaged. I was left with no clothes except the ones which I was wearing. The fire also destroyed a few kitchen utensils in the kitchen which is being used by a tenant,” she said.

Mrs Ncube said her ex-husband had been very abusive throughout their 13 years of marriage. She said he constantly beat her up with different objects in the house and he once stabbed her on the back with a knife. She said he also used to thrown out her belongings whenever he assaulted her. Mrs Ncube said she separated with him in June and moved out of their home and went to stay alone as she could not take the abuse anymore. She said he however, constantly came to harass her at her home up until she was granted a protection order against him.

Mrs Ncube said she reported her ex-husband to police on several occasions but she would later withdraw the charges after their families intervened and he would have made promises to change his behaviour.

“He would just barge into my home and harass me and order me to come back and live with him but I would refuse. Sometimes he would break into my house while I was asleep at night. He would also threaten me over the phone. Even when he met me in public he would harass me.

I was granted a protection order but that didn’t stop him from coming to harass me up until he burnt my home. I’m really stranded and I don’t know where to start in fixing this house. Those wishing to assist me can contact me on 0777 300 247, right now I could really use all the help I can get,” she said.

Mrs Ncube said her ex-husband was arrested, appeared in court and was remanded in custody.

Ward 28 Councillor, Cde Kidwell Mujuru said he learnt with great sadness about the incident. He said it was alarming how cases of domestic violence continued to escalate with some recording casualties.

“I heard about the incident where a woman from my ward lost her property after her husband set the house on fire. Such cases are worrisome. As a community leader I always teach people about issues of domestic violence and that if faced with disputes couples should seek counselling instead of resorting to violence. People should learn that violence doesn’t solve anything but it rather creates more problems. At least the suspect was arrested and we hope that justice will be served and he will face the consequences of his actions,” he said.  Chronicle


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