A soldier stationed at the Central Ammunition Depot in Zvimba, Zimbabwe allegedly petrol-bombed his wife for refusing to flee with him to South Africa after he stole $840 from the woman’s employer. Tapiwa Shonhiwa (28) appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Noel Mupeiwa charged with theft and attempted murder.
It is alleged that on August 1 at around 4pm, Shonhiwa’s wife, Pretty Langton, was at a liquor shop where she is employed as a cashier at Zimbiru Business Centre, under Chief Chinamhora.
She was in the company of Shonhiwa and a workmate, Calleen Gotora. It is alleged that Shonhiwa stole a crate of Black Label quarts and was spotted by Gotora. He was intercepted while trying to get away with the beer through the back door.
Shonhiwa threatened to commit suicide before he managed to steal $840 from the shop. He later went home and demanded his uniform from his wife. Langton refused to open the door demanding the money back.
Shonhiwa pretended to have the money but his wife refused to open the door. He threatened to lob a petrol bomb into the house but still Langton would not open the door. After a while Shonhiwa threw an object suspected to be a petrol bomb through his wife’s bedroom window, starting a blaze.
People managed to put out the fire and Langton went to Zimbiru Police Base to report the matter. After the offence Shonhiwa fled to Harare. Police later picked up a container of Super Chibuku dripping with petrol near the broken window of Langton’s bedroom.
Property worthy $3 600 was destroyed in the fire. Two days later Shonhiwa started communicating with his wife, requesting her to steal $2 000 from her employer. He told her that he wanted to flee with her to South Africa. Langton informed the police, leading to Shonhiwa’s arrest. Prejudice was $4 551 and nothing was recovered.