Gweru love story that went horribly wrong

​ •  9 litres of petrol poured on 2 cousins in a crime of passion •  They die within 3 days of each other ELIZABETH MASHIRI MIDLANDS BUREAU ...

•  9 litres of petrol poured on 2 cousins in a crime of passion
•  They die within 3 days of each other


GWERU – In a love relationship that went terrifyingly wrong, a man from Ascot in Gweru poured nine litres of petrol through a window while his ex-lover and her cousin who were inside helplessly watched and cried out for help before he struck a match stick and burnt the room.
Garikai Zvavada (33) who stayed in Ascot was arrested by Police last Saturday morning after he allegedly committed the crime at midnight night on Friday.
Cynthia Hlabangu (25) an innocent cousin who was caught in the crossfire has since died (Saturday) from the burns at Parirenyatwa Hospital while the cousin Nancy Sibanda (27) who had broken up with the allegedly abusive Zvavada remained battling for life at the same hospital.
Breaking news indicate that Sibanda has also since died. She died this week on Tuesday
They both suffered more 40% degree burns, they had no chance for survival.
The Mirror visited house number 343 Ascot in Gweru where the incident happened in one of the rooms and was told that the accused Zvavada tied the door from outside first before he removed a plastic cover on a broken window and woke up the two girls who were sleeping inside. He then allegedly poured out nine litres of petrol into the room while the petrified women cried out for help but no one could hear them since it was midnight.
Sources also told The Mirror that Zvavada was supposed to go to court in a few days' time following an application for a peace order by Sibanda.
A co-tenant who refused to be named said that Zvavada came to the house and started shouting and threatening to kill Sibanda because he had seen a text message which implied that his ex-lover was having an affair and this did not go down well with him.
"Zvavada alleged that he saw a text message in Sibanda's phone and it showed that she was having an affair with someone. What I know is that Zvavada was an abusive man and Sibanda had been sent packing by her previous landlord on the fateful day because the later was fed up with Zvavada's violent character.
"This incident therefore happened on the very same day that Sibanda moved into this place. I gave her a room here because she was someone that I knew. She paid her rent in the afternoon only to be petro-bombed inside the room that same night," said the landlord.
Gilbert Geshomu who is Sibanda's uncle also talked to The Mirror and narrated what he was told by Hlabangana before she passed on.
"I was not there but I can tell you what Hlabangana said because when the two were taken to hospital they were both still talking. She said that Zvavada came to the house, tied the door from outside and removed a plastic which was covering a small part of the window that was broken. 
"He poured nine liters of petrol through the window while the two watched and then set the room on fire. She said that they tried to call for help but maybe no one came to their rescue. 
Help came when cracking asbestos sheets in the roof started making explosive noise. By this time they had both sustained serious burns as they stood in a corner where they could get furthest from the raging fire," said Geshomu.
He dismissed media reports which indicated that Zvavada took this action because he had invested a lot of money into Sibanda before he was jilted.
"I knew this man. He had no money and Sibanda was the one taking care of him because she had an Ecocash and a grocery shop. Zvavada would help in Sibanda's shop and that's all he did. He was jilted because of his violent nature. 
If he is claiming to have invested a lot on Sibanda, then the investment is not money but dependency on her. The other issue that could have led to this is that Sibanda had applied for a peace order against him and the matter was supposed to be heard at Gweru Magistrate court on December 15, 2016," said Geshomu.
Geshomu also said what was even more touching was the fact that Hlabangu had just arrived from the rural areas in Chaundura and was enroute to a church all night prayer. She only got into the crossfire because the cousin pleaded with her to stay over for a night and help her shift from her old lodgings.
 "Please put it on record that Sibanda's cousin who died because of this incident came from the rural areas on that day. 
"She was going to a church meeting over the weekend and Sibanda pleaded with her to stay and help her move to her new house not knowing she was calling her to a death trap," said Geshomu
 "This incident was so traumatic to everyone here that I have since sent my kids away to my rural home because they could not sleep in this house anymore. 
"How could this man possibly do this," said a care-taker at the house.



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The Mirror: Gweru love story that went horribly wrong
Gweru love story that went horribly wrong
The Mirror
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