Gibson Chidzanga, a 33-year-old Beitbridge man locked his wife and two children in a room and set it ablaze resulting in the death of his nine-month-old daughter following a dispute with his wife over a text message.

He has since been charged with murder.

He was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Miss Ania Chimweta, who remanded him in custody to December 30.

Prosecutor Mr Pithey Magumula said, on December 13, the accused arrived at the house in Dulivhadzimu suburb around midnight.

He then stumbled upon a text message on his wife’s cell phone, which led to a misunderstanding.

At the height of the quarrel, he threatened to burn the house, with his wife and two children inside.

He then forced his family into one room, took a gas tank from the kitchen, lit it and fled from the scene.

The tank then burst into a huge ball of fire, which spread around the house. His wife managed to escape with the elder child. Efforts to rescue the infant proved futile, as the fire raged.

Chidzanga was arrested the following day.

— Sunday Mail