Three people suffered severe burns and are battling for their lives at Mpilo General Hospital after the house they were sleeping in was set ablaze by an estranged relative.

75-year-old Mr Robert Donga and his 52-year-old wife Ms Angela Mpala of Mpofu in Lupane, are battling for their lives after their grandson Kholwani Donga tried to burn them alive in the wee hours of Tuesday, Faceofmalawi learnt from The Chronicle.

According to The Chronicle, Kholwani accused his grandparents Robert and Angela for killing his father in a suspected ritual case.

Kholwani (age not given) then botched a plan to avenge his father’s death by burning his grandparents alive.

On Thursday and Friday last week he made two unsuccessful attempts on his grandparent’s lives by burning a two-roomed house and kitchen hut respectively.

At around 1 AM on Tuesday Kholwani is alleged to have doused a three-roomed house where his grandparents and 5 others were sleeping, with petrol and set it alight.

The grandparents and Praymore Sibanda(19) – a domestic worker suffered severe burns while their 23-year-old daughter Ms Ayanda Donga and her eight-year-old daughter Bandile together with the couple’s two grandchildren Buhle (10) and Andile (7) escaped the inferno unhurt.

The fire destroyed most of the property inside the house that include:

  • Two beds
  • Three wardrobes,
  • A television set,
  • Sofas,
  • an electricity generator,
  • kitchen unit,
  • decoders
  • cellphone handsets,
  • Identity documents
  • US$1 000 cash and other valuable items.

According to sources close to investigations, Kholwani Donga who was arrested on Tuesday allegedly consulted a tsikamutanda who told him that his father died as a result of a curse cast on him by his grandparents.

The suspect’s sister Ayanda said she woke and found the house on fire and jumped out of the window in panic before going back into the house to rescue others.

Ayanda said when she tried to pull his father from the burning house his skin pealed off.

She said when she confronted Kholwani why he had done such a horendous thing he then tried to strangle her to death and was later realesed after her child started screaming.

The injured were rushed to St Luke’s Hospital in Lupane, before being transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital where they are currently battling for their lives.

The police confirmed the incident and said the suspect who was now in custody is due to appear in court anytime soon.

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