A 37 year old man of Sinanzongwe District in Southern Province has committed suicide in the early hours of May 3rd after setting himself ablaze at Muntu Wabulonga Guest House in Choma.
Southern Province Police Commissioner Charity Chikwanda confirmed the incident in an interview with ZANIS in Choma and identified the deceased as Sibungu Namakando of Siampondo Basic School in Maamba.
Ms Chikwanda said the incident happened around 06 hours on May 3rd after the deceased poured petrol on himself and ignited fire at a lodge where he was booked since Friday.
“The deceased was booked at the lodge on May 2nd around 18hours, but was later seen in the evening by the security guard at the lodge getting into his room with a container of petrol,” she said.
Ms Chikwanda confirmed that the deceased sustained serious burns on the face and that his body is currently lying in Choma General Hospital Mortuary.
She noted that the cause of the suicide is not known but that police are investigating the matter to establish the cause of the suicide.
Meanwhile, one of the members of staff at Muntu Wabulonga Guest House Mavis Mweemba said the deceased booked a room on Friday around 18:30 hours although, he was allegedly drunk.
Ms Mweemba, who was visibly shaken said the guard at the premises noticed Mr Namakando entering the lodge with a container of petrol but did not suspect any suicide attempt.
She said the guard talked to the deceased upon his return from his errands with a container of petrol before proceeding to his room.
She narrated that after some minutes when he entered the room, the guard who was within the premises of the lodge, noticed smoke coming out of the room and immediately rushed to break the door which was locked.
Ms Mweemba then phoned the fire brigade who arrived at the scene a few minutes later.
The fire which engulfed the entire room destroyed a single bed, blankets, a mattress, a television set belonging to the Guest House.
The deceased’s suitcase containing some clothes and documents was also destroyed.
The Police Commissioner said the body was taken to Choma Hospital mortuary and is awaiting identification by relatives .