Two people of the same family have died while two others are battling for their lives at Choma General Hospital after the house they were sleeping in was allegedly set on fire by unknown persons in Chief Singani’s area.
The incident happened around 24 hours yesterday and the deceased have been identified as Joel Ng’andu aged 65 and his unnamed daughter aged seven.
His survivors include his wife Ms Zalenda Munyeme and their child Lushomo Chiwala aged thirteen.
ZANIS reports that an eye witness Chilala Chiwala confirmed the incidence in an interview in Choma District today.
Chiwala, who is the son to the couple , said he heard his mother screaming for help as she struggled out of the blazing house.
He said he upon realizing the inferno he alerted the neighbours but it was too late the entire house was gutted making it difficult to save his father and sister.
“ At the time I called for help the house was already burning out of control as neigbours tried to quench the fire and I think at that time my father and my sibling were already died,” said Chiwala who looked traumatized.
And young brother to the deceased man, headmen Chibuno said the couple were alerted by their a named brother –in-law of intentions to burn him alive for allegedly failure to take care of his late brother’s children.
“This person warned the couple in July of the plans by some people to burn him as punishment for his failure to look after his late brother’s children who have become destitute,” said Headman Chibuno.
“ And so it is clear here that we suspect foul play because we found some bundles of dry glass near the door and we think someone could have torched the house deliberately,” he added.
Sikalongo ward councilor Phanwell Siagwelele when reached for comment expressed deep shock at the incident reportedly to be the first in the area and called on the law enforcement officers to investigate the case thorough so that
all those involved could be brought to book.
“As area councilor am deeply shocked that this kind of thing can happen here and I call upon the police to do their job thorough so that all those behind this barbaric act can be brought to book,” he said.
Mr. Siagwelele who is also Choma Municipal Council Deputy Mayor said people in the area now live in fear for their lives adding that the due process of the law should take its course on those involved to prevent any such unfortunate incident from occurring in future.
Meanwhile, some journalists who accompanied two senior Zambia National Service officers (ZNS) found the charred bodies of the deceased had not yet been picked by police by press time.