A 29-year-old axe-wielding Bulawayo man set his family home on fire following a dispute with his mother claiming that he was the owner of the property.
Trevor Nyamakawo torched his family home in Queenspark suburb and threatened to axe his family members if they resisted his orders to vacate the house.
When a CITE news crew visited the house, Friday, the family members were trying to salvage some of the property from the fire.
Some neighbours were already trickling in with food, blankets and clothes to assist the family.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident and said they were treating the case as malicious damage to property.
“I can confirm that we received a report of malicious damage to property. The accused person, who is still on the run, had a dispute with his mother. He was claiming that the house they are staying in belongs to him and they should remove their property,” confirmed Ncube.
“He threatened to kill his mother. The mother then went and made a report to the police. When she returned around 14:30 PM they found the house already in flames. A fire brigade was called and they put out the fire. The value of the lost property is yet to be established.”
Trevor’s mother, Molly, who was struggling to come to terms with her loss, narrated that her son had only returned home on Tuesday after being in South Africa for two years.
Molly said Trevor did not take this well so he started shouting at everyone, throwing them out of the house and threatening to kill them.
“He acted so violently, like someone who was high on drugs. He went to the gate and hung a red cloth (one which is used to show that there is a funeral). He kept swearing that someone in the house was going to die,” said Molly.
“He accused us of abandoning him when he was in South Africa. I don’t understand why he said this because every month I would send him rent and grocery money. I never abandoned him.”
Molly said she tried to get through to her son and explain to him that whatever grievances he had they could address them amicably as a family without the use of violence.
She said after her first attempt to calm him down she rushed to the police to report him but the police did not do much to assist her.
“He calmed down a bit after I had talked to him. I was still worried about his behaviour so I rushed to the police station. They gave me one officer who was dressed in civilian clothes to accompany me but when we got home he ridiculed him and started his threats all over again,” Molly narrated.
“I ran back to the police and they gave me two more uniformed officers. When we arrived, he was more violent than before. The officers got confrontational with him, I warned them several times against it because I know how he is when he gets angry but they didn’t listen to me.”
Molly said during the exchange of words with the officers, her son threatened to burn the house down and the officers told him to go ahead and that was when he set the house ablaze and climbed on top of the roof.
She noted that she had two tenants and all their property was not spared either.
“I also had a project of chickens that I was doing, nothing was left. The only thing that we have managed to retrieve so far are our passports and a few other documents. We have no clothes, no property, nothing.”
Molly added that a few neighbours told her Trevor had been spotted in the neighbourhood but each time they followed the lead to find him they hit a dead end.
Those who wish to assist the family can get in contact with Molly on 0773675588 or 0719675588.