Friday 1 October 2021


POPULAR Chipinge businessman lost property worth US$80 000 after his son deliberately short circuited electrical household cables resulting in a fire that razed everything.

Mr Christopher Chikunga (70) of Tanganda Halt who runs a chain of shops in Chipinge and Buhera dragged his son, Gideonson (21) to court, accusing him of destroying his property.

Gideonson appeared before Chipinge regional magistrate, Mrs Farisi Chakanyuka, this week charged with contravening Section 3(1) of the Domestic Violence Act, Chapter 5:16 (malicious damage to property).

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Asked why he committed the offence, Gedionson, said he was angered by his father’s refusal to cooperate in solving some challenges the family was facing.

“Your Worship, I was enraged by father’s refusal to solve some of the challenges we are encountering as a family. We were supposed to brew traditional beer for our late grandmother’s memorial service (doro rekufa).

“Nothing materialised and this is one of the reasons we are at loggerheads with our father,” he said.

Asked by Mrs Chakanyuka whether he was prepared to solve the family dispute amicably with his son, Mr Chikunga said he preferred a custodial sentence for Gideonson.

Mr Chikunga said a custodial sentence would help is wayward son reform. Prosecuting, Mr Timothy Katsande said on September 21, Gideonson and his father, Mr Chikunga were at home at Tanganda halt when they had a misunderstanding.

“The two had a misunderstanding resulting in Gideonson threatening to deal with his father. Gideonson went inside the house and deliberately short circuited electrical cables. This resulted in a fire which destroyed all the property which was in the eight-roomed house.

“The fire was discovered by a domestic worker, Patricia Dundu who called for help from neighbours. Soon after committing the offence, Gideonson fled to Birchenough Bridge Growth Point. His father effected a citizen’s arrest on him on September 25 at Birchenough Bridge,” said Mr Katsande.

Gideonson was found in possession of a cash box, passports for three family members, a laptop, two cellphones and two navigators.

He was escorted to ZRP Middle Sabi where he was detained before being taken to court.

The property damaged in the house include eight double beds, three television sets, one bedroom ensuite, sofas, TV stand, two wardrobes, kitchen tables, a solar system, clothes, blankets, CCTV system and $6 868.

The total value of the property destroyed is US$80 810. Manica Post


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