Zimbabwe News

Gweru man burns down 2 houses over a bar joke

A 46-year-old man from Gweru, Midlands Province, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Gweru Magistrates’ Court for assault and malicious damage to property.

The accused, Joseph McCarthy, set fire to several properties in the neighbourhood after a colleague he was drinking beer with made a joke that he did not appreciate.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), however, did not reveal the nature of the joke.

McCarthy was charged with one count of assault and two counts of malicious damage to property when he was arraigned before the Gweru Magistrates’ Court.

The State proved that on 17 April 2024, McCarthy and the complainant’s brother, Rodreck Munyanyiwa were drinking at Woodlands Shops in Gweru when the latter made a joke that the accused did not take well.

Rodreck then left and went home. Still boiling with anger, McCarthy later proceeded to the complainant Munyaradzi Munyanyiwa’s residence to look for Rodreck but could not find him.

McCarthy then attacked Munyaradzi who suffered an eye injury but managed to escape leaving the accused person in his room.

McCarthy set fire to Munyaradzi’s blanket and completely destroyed the room. The fire spread next door and burnt down Rebecca Nyathi’s 13-roomed house.

The accused fled from the scene, passed through the Woodlands Phase 1 Shops, and told a security guard what he had done.

Munyaradzi teamed up with his neighbours to carry out a citizen’s arrest on McCarthy, whom they subsequently handed to the police.

The value of the damaged property is USD22 415.

McCarthy was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment of which 3 years were suspended. A further 4 years were suspended on condition of restitution of US$21 000 to Rebecca Nyathi and 1 year suspended on condition of restitution of US$755 to Munyaradzi Munyanyiwa.

He will serve two years effectively if he restitutes Nyathi with $21,000 and Munyaradzi with $755.

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