Wednesday 10 May 2023


A BULAWAYO man reportedly suffocated at his girlfriend’s home in Nketa 6 suburb after a fire engulfed the house on Tuesday night amid suspicions of foul play.

Trust Mandeya was found dead in the bathroom of the four-roomed house, with blisters on his mouth. The incident is said to have happened between 8 and 9PM.

Bulawayo acting chief fire officer Mr Linos Phiri said his team had questions relating to Mandeya’s death.

“After extinguishing the fire we found a body in the bathroom and we then referred the case to the police for further investigations because some of the things did not add up. He did not suffer any burns,” said Mr Phiri.

He said his team was informed that before the fire started Mandeya had a fight with his girlfriend.

Mr Phiri said it is believed that Mandeya was drunk when the incident occurred.

“This incident happened at his girlfriend’s home where there were scuffles. We are told that due to the scuffle, his parents were called and his mother and father went to the house to try and quell the situation. However, it is said he ended up turning on his mother and that is when they left to report the matter to the police,” said Mr Phiri.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said investigations were underway.

“I don’t have finer details on the case at the moment. But I’m aware of it and investigations are ongoing,” said Insp Ncube.

A Chronicle news crew visited the house yesterday and observed that one of the rooms had been seriously damaged by the blaze.

The girlfriend, who declined to be named, said despite their differences, they loved each other.

“Trust was loving, he was friendly and very kind. Yes, we used to fight but he loved me and I loved him just the same. I still haven’t gone to his home because l am still in shock over what happened,” she said.

Her brother, Mr Bekezela Sibanda, said they do not know how the fire started.

“He came to visit my sister as he has always done and then I heard them fighting in my sister’s room but this is not anything new. They have fought before so I tried to intervene and asked him to leave the house. We went outside I told him to go home and he would see her the following day. By then he had calmed down and I locked him outside the door hoping he was gone,” he said.

Mr Sibanda said Mandeya became violent banging doors and knocking on windows before pushing open the kitchen door.

He said they then called Mandeya’s parents who live close by.

“I came back with his mother and we found him sleeping on my sister’s bed and when his mother asked him to leave, he refused and that is when the mother said we should go and report the matter to the police. I left with his mother while my sister said we will find her at our neighbour’s home,” he said.

Mr Sibanda said at the police station they were told to wait as officers were on patrol.

He said he was shocked to return home to find that their house had been gutted by fire.

“I was shocked to find a fire brigade team at our gate. Trust was inside the room that had burnt. I really don’t know what happened or what could have caused the fire. I have questions like everyone else,” he said.

Mandeya’s family could not be reached for comment yesterday.  Chronicle


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