Ellen Mlambo - MASVINGO - A man has appeared before Masvingo Magistrate Tafadzwa Mhlanga for allegedly starting a fire with the intention of killing a snake but ended up destroying 800 hectares of veld at Arksden Farm near Masvingo last week.
It is the State case that Katinos Chirongoma (48) an illegal settler at Arksden Farm in Masvingo accidentally started a fire whilst trying to kill a snake which had vanished into a hole in a nearby bush.
Chiringoma said he was not sure whether the snake was eventually killed because his attention was then turned to putting out the fire that had got out of hand.
It is said that the fire got out of hand as a result of the windy weather.
The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) visited the area and assesed the immense damage caused to the environment .According to the law, no person shall deliberately cause fire that he or she cannot extinguish which causes damage to the environment, property or life.
Furthermore the law says it is an offence to light fire outside residential or commercial premises during the period July 31 to October 31 of each year.
The accused pleaded guilty.
He was sentenced to 15 days imprisonment or to pay $50 fine.news