By Mary Taruvinga
HARARE: A 35-year-old suspected killer who is wanted over the fire death of five children and the attempted to murder his wife has vanished after being granted bail.
Steven Manjovha reportedly went berserk in April this year and killed five family members by torching the house they were sleeping.
This was after he allegedly raped a girl from the same family earlier on the fateful day.
Manjovha was bailed by the High Court a few weeks after his arrest and awaiting indictment when disappeared.
He is answering to five murder charges, two attempted murder and one rape counts.
Prosecutors allege that he also tried to kill the mother of the deceased children.
According to the state, the bizarre incident occurred on April 12 this year at Pension Farm in Glen View.
Manjovha, of Budiriro is said to have first approached a 12-year girl and raped her in a bushy area when she was coming from a relative’s homestead.
After the abusing the girl, he phoned the victim’s father and told him that he was going to harm his family.
Pursuant to his threats, Court heard that at around 23:00 hours on the same day Manjovha went to the victim’s home at Churu Farm near where his estranged wife Patricia Rutsato was staying.
Court heard that Rutsato was sleeping with the mother of the abused girl together with her five children.
Manjovha forced the door to the house open, alerting the two women who tried to push him out to no avail.
The suspect, who was holding a container with petrol, opened it up and sprinkled the contents on his wife and the mother of the five children before he set the house on fire.
He closed the door and in seconds the house was engulfed in fire while he ran away.
Children aged 10, 9, 6, 4, and one were severely burnt before they were rushed to Harare hospital together with their mother and Manjovha’s wife.
Unfortunately, all the children died upon admission while their mother and Manjovha’s wife are battling for their lives in hospital.