Child burnt to death over flirting suspicion

By Ernest Mwape-A five year old girl of Mukungule village in Mpika has been burnt to death while another child is fighting for her life at a local hospital after a house they were sleeping in was allegedly set ablaze by a woman who suspected that their mother was flirting with her hubby.

And Mpika police are holding the same woman in connection with the burning of the house and killing the child.

Police sources confirmed the incident in Mpika today and said it happened last Saturday October the 10th 2009 around 1900 hours as the mother to the two girls was attending a Church meeting.

Police named the deceased girl as Annie Mulenga and the severely burnt child as Mirrian Mulenga, 9.

Police sources said the house including goods was completely destroyed in the inferno.

Police sources disclosed that Mary Malama, 24 of the same village in had been picked in connection with burning the house.

“Yes, Police have arrested Mary of the same village because she is linked to the setting the house on fire,” Police sources said.

Police sources also revealed that an uncle to the two victims had hacked Mary on her right hand with an axe after learning that one of his nieces had died in the fire.

Mary is also nursing the wound in Mpika district hospital and she is sharing the same ward with the fire victim.

When contacted for a comment, Mpika district Medical Officer, Doctor Isaac Mulenga said Mirriam has 44 percent superficial burns and described her condition as stable.

According to sources within the village, Mary had for a long suspected that her husband was flirting around with Ireen Kamanda, who is widow.

And speaking in an interview at the hospital, Ireen explained that on the fateful day, she (Mary) led her husband to her (Ireen’s) home to find out if he was having an affair with her.

She said when she denied; the woman left in fury and dragged her husband and continued quarrelling on the way.

“When I denied that I was flirting around with her husband the wife left in rage and dragged her husband while they continued quarreling on the way,” recounted Ireen.

Ireen said thereafter, she went to Mukungule Catholic Church for a Choir meeting. She added that before winding up the meeting, she was alerted that her house had been burnt.

She explained that her neighbours could not retrieve her belongings because the whole house was engulfed in fire

She added that her eldest daughter who was in the living room had narrated how Mary setting the house on fire.

She said it was not possible for Mirriam to flee herself from the burning house because the door was tied from the outside.

But Mary denied putting the house on fire saying she learnt about the incident, when Henry Kamanda, the brother to Ireen attacked.

“I did not burn Ireen’s house, I only came to know about it when her brother who accused me of killing his nieces attacked me,”

Mary claimed that Kamanda hacked her on the right hand with an axe as she was preparing food at about 19hours.

Mary also refuted claims that the couple went to Ireen’s home confirm that her husband was having an affair with her saying it was three to four weeks ago she confronted her and that she went alone.

Police sources disclosed that Mary who was still hospitalized had been charged for murder.

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