WHAT could have been a thriving Saturday for Choma residents turned up to be an awful day after a teacher from a school in Chief Chikanta’s area allegedly petrol-bombed himself in a Guest House.
The incidence happened at Muntu Wabulonga Guest House located in the heart of Choma business district adjacent to Arupee Service Station.
The deceased was only identified as Mr Mwiinga by some residents found at the scene, was from a school in Chikanta chiefdom. His age was unknown.
By Press time, Southern Province Police Commissioner Mary Chikwanda said, she had only heard about the incidence but had no further details.
“I am still awaiting details from my officers which I would be able to give afterwards,” Ms Chikwanda said when reached for a comment.
But according to the eye-witnesses, the deceased killed himself in a suspected suicide mission in the early hours of yesterday.
The eyes witness found at the guest house where the incident happened around 07:00 hours, said the deceased’s face and eyes were severely burnt.
A TIMES reporter who rushed to the scene around 07:20 hours found on-lookers scavenging in the debris after the fire swept through the room.
Muntu Wabulonga Guest House proprietor Mavis Mweemba said the deceased booked a room on Friday around 18:30 hours and was reportedly drunk.
Ms Mweemba, who was visibly shaken said, in the morning yesterday around 06:40 hours, one of the security guards saw Mr Mwiinga leaving the guest house.
She said Mr Mwiinga was reportedly still in a drunken state and that nobody knew where he was going because he had settled his bills when he booked the room.
She said the guard even talked to the deceased who later returned with a container of petrol and went straight into his room.
Ms Mweemba said the deceased came back to his room while smoking, entered the room and locked himself inside.
She said minutes after Mr Mwiinga entered the room, a guard noticed smoke coming from the room.
After being alerted by the guard, the fire brigade was called in and arrived at the scene a few minutes later. By then, she and other people had started breaking the door.
Ms Mweemba said they found the deceased severely burnt. She described the incidence as shocking adding that it was the first time that such an incidence had happened since the inception of the lodge in the 1990s.
The fire which engulfed the entire room destroyed a single bed, blankets, a mattress, a television set worth thousands of kwacha and the deceased’s items.
The body was taken to Choma Hospital mortuary awaiting identification by relatives from Chief Chikanta’s area.