A HARARE man, who poured petrol on his wife's suspected boyfriend before setting him ablaze at a shopping centre, has been sentenced to an effective three years in prison.
Samuel Machete (32) was being charged with attempted murder.
Magistrate Ms Esthere Chivasa convicted Machete after a fully contested trial and slapped him with a six-year term of imprisonment.
However, one year of the sentence was set aside on condition Machete restitutes the complainant, Bongeni Chimhombo US$1 175 which he used to foot his medical bills.
The court further suspended two years on condition of good behaviour, leaving Machete to serve an effective three years. Ms Chivasa also advised Chimhombo that he was at liberty to approach the Civil Court for other claims.
In passing the sentence Ms Chivasa said Machete committed a very serious offence which called for a prison term.
In aggravation Prosecutor Mrs Sarah Bosha had called for a stiffer penalty arguing that Machete's actions were premeditated.
Mrs Bosha told the court that Machete, who lives in Greendale, went to Athlone Shopping Centre following a tip-off that his wife's alleged boyfriend had been seen there.
Machete took 500ml of petrol and matches to the shopping centre where he bumped into the suspected rival suitor.
Machete confronted him over the alleged affair, and upon sensing danger, the "boyfriend" took to his heels.
Machete picked a concrete brick and hit the fleeing man on the back of the head, sending him sprawling to the ground.
Machete poured petrol all over Chimhomho's body before setting the helpless man ablaze.
Machete fled from the scene, leaving the burning man crying for help.
Onlookers managed to extinguish the fire. Chimhombo sustained severe burns all over the body.
He was rushed to hospital and Machete was later arrested.