Woman sets self on fire


A JILTED 22-year-old Gwanda woman is battling for her life at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) after she doused herself with paraffin before torching herself in a futile bid to commit suicide following a domestic dispute.


The woman, identified as Vimbai Galastus, suffered serious burns all over the body and had to be rushed to UBH, were she is still admitted.

“She was in a terrible condition and was quickly transferred to UBH, as Gwanda Hospital is ill-equipped to deal with such burns,” a nurse, who requested anonymity for professional reasons, said. Eyewitnesses said the incident took place in Spitzkop North Township on Saturday afternoon after the woman arrived from Beitbridge.

“She has been having problems with her husband and she had just arrived when we heard her screaming for help. We then rushed to discover she was in engulfed in flames before one neighbour wrapped her with a towel to extinguish the fire,” a neighbour, who also requested anonymity, said.

“The husband has been having extra-marital affairs and her parents had reprimanded her for staying in an abusive relationship. They urged her to divorce him and return home, but she would not listen. She is suspected to have poured paraffin all over her body before torching herself. She was lucky the whole house never caught fire”.

Spitzkop North does not have electricity and most residents use the highly flammable liquid for energy.

House number 3217, where the incident took place, was deserted when Southern Eye arrived to investigate the matter.

“The husband was here a few minutes ago. I believe he has gone to drink (beer) at the shops,” a neighbour said.

Southern Eye, however, discovered that information had been falsified to authorities at Gwanda Hospital in order to cover up the incident by indicating that it was an accident.

Furthermore, hospital records indicated that Galastus resided at house number 4001, a house which is still under construction at slab level.

Efforts to locate both the husband and the parents of the young lady were fruitless with reports indicating the parents were in Bulawayo.

Efforts to get a comment from the police were in vain.