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Tragic Death as Lusaka Man burns himself to death after court ruling that ended his marriage

EXTREMELY upset with a court ruling that ended his marriage and ordered that the couple sell their property and share the money equally, a 52-year old man of Lusaka’s 10 Miles area resorted to pouring petrol all over his body set himself ablaze.

Despite the best efforts from friends, neighbors and medics to save his life, Charles Ngoma died of severe burns on Tuesday evening.

A day before the tragic incident, Ngoma and his wife Faustina Chanda aged 28 were before the Matero Local Court for a divorce hearing.

The couple had been on separation for a month and the wife had sued for divorce.

In their earlier hearing last week, Ngoma complained that his wife Faustina wasn’t the cleanest of people, so much so that he had even lost the desire to sleep with her.

Ngoma complained that his wife’s body had a strong foul stench that was caused by her reluctance to interact with bath water.

He said that two met in 2017 but that their relationship did not start on a smooth note after discovering that she had aborted his pregnancy of twins. Later, they cohabited for four years before officially getting married last year.

The retired Zesco employee complained that also among the reasons of their troubled marriage was that his wife was a stubborn alcoholic who consumed anything intoxicating she came by.

He also accused her of being an addicted smoker of Nsuko.

“Sometimes, she seats drinking wine from evening and sleeps at 02:00 hours in the morning, she later wakes up late and doesn’t even cook me any meals,” said Ngoma.

“She is too dirty, she doesn’t even clean herself, she stays for two days without bathing. She has over eight dirty pants that I can even produce here in court. She just looks clean from the outside but inside, she is very dirty. I had to buy her expensive spray, but it is in vain because each time we go in bed, she smells like fish and she doesn’t even clean her pubic hair, now how can I have appetite to sleep with her when she is like this?,” wondered Ngoma.

But in her defense, Faustina said her marriage become as rough as the Livingstone Sesheke Road after her husband started beating and insulting her each time he came back home drunk.

Faustina said he at one time chased her with a shovel and she ended up sleeping at their neighbor’s place.

Further, she added that efforts to seat them down by their close friends failed as Ngoma could always return to his violent self after a few days.

And on her drinking and smoking habit, Chanda said she did so only to relieve herself from stress. She later asked the court if she could be granted permission to go and get her belongs and vehicle from her matrimonial home

After hearing both parties, Magistrate Gastone kalala adjourned the matter to March 4, 2024 for submission and judgment.

And in his judgment on Monday, the court upheld the claim and ordered that the couple should sell their jointly owned property, including the house, with the proceeds to be shared between them.

But disappointed with the court’s judgment, Ngoma, in an apparent act of despair stopped by a filling station on his way home and bought petrol.

When he reached home around 19:00 hours, he sprinkled the petrol on his house and on his vehicle, a Toyota Passo with registration number BAX 1448 and ignited lit a fire that quickly engulfed the entire house.

From the fire, Ngoma sustained severe burns as neighbors courageously rescued him from the fire and immediately rushed him to Matero Level One Hospital but despite the help of medical personnel.

Unfortunately, he was declared dead 30 minutes after arrival.

The matter was later reported by his friend, Emmanuel Mutale to Muwanjuni Police Post and upon receiving the report, officers visited the scene of the incident.

Police Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga who confirmed the incident to #Kalemba said that an inquiry file has been opened to investigate the circumstances surrounding this tragic event.