A 77-year-old man has been arrested for malicious damage to property after he set fire, using petrol, at Chegutu District Lands Offices after inquiring on the status of his application in which he applied for a piece of land.
Josiah Garamukanwa is assisting police with investigations.
Investigations revealed that Garamukanwa went to the offices on Monday and saw the acting district lands officer Ms Ruramayi Kunonga and asked her of the status of a plot he once applied for.
He was told that currently there were no land allocations that were being made.
It is alleged that Garamukanwa was hiding a 5-litre plastic container that had petrol and on his way out, he poured the petrol along the corridor before setting the fire.
An alert security guard then confronted him before police who were nearby arrested Garamukanwa.
The Fire brigade was called in and they managed to extinguish the fire which had destroyed two doors, corridor ceiling and had damaged the walls.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident.
“On November 22, 2021, police in Chegutu arrested Josiah Garamukanwa aged 77 for a case of malicious damage to property which occurred at Chegutu District Lands Offices. The suspect visited the offices inquiring on the position of his application in which he applied for a piece of land.
“On leaving the premises the suspect produced a plastic container containing petrol which was hidden in a plastic bag and poured it in the corridor before setting the building on fire. The suspect tried to escape but the Police officers who were on surveillance acted swiftly and arrested him. The fire brigade extinguished the fire before any documents were destroyed,” he said.
He said they were still conducting investigations on the case.
Meanwhile, eight suspects have been arrested for public violence, assault and malicious damage to property at Rosa mine, Chombira in Chiweshe on Sunday.
The suspects damaged several vehicles and injured two mineworkers after a mining dispute.
Investigations so far have revealed that the violence started after Gombera Mining Syndicate and Rosa Mining Syndicate encroached into each other’s mining shafts.
Police have since reiterated that members of the public must resolve their differences without the use of violence.