POLICE in Chipata have launched a manhunt against a man of Garden Compound who is alleged to have murdered his 30-year-old wife and set her body ablaze.

The woman identified as Annie Miti, was allegedly killed by her husband Alick Banda, a businessman trading at Kaumbwe Market in Mchini Compound.

The incident is alleged to have transpired in a shop in which the couple was sleeping.

The deceased’s mother, Catherine Liche, said her daughter had a deep cut below her neck and that her body was burnt beyond recognition.

“I just heard in the morning from the people I met that my daughter had been killed in the shop and when I came I found that the police had already wrapped the body. When I went to the mortuary I asked the officers to allow me to see the body of my daughter, and what I saw was heartbreaking. My daughter had a deep cut below the neck and she was burnt like a roasted rat, and you can’t even recognise her,” she mourned.

The deceased’s father, Kennan Miti, asked the police to ensure that they brought the culprit to book.

He said his daughter had some marital disputes with her husband for some time and that at some point he even advised her to end the marriage.

“My daughter went to court to file for a divorce but when the date for hearing the case came, he enticed the wife to withdraw the case and it was withdrawn,” said Miti.

Eastern Province Commanding Officer Davis Simwanza, who confirmed the incident, said the deceased’s husband escaped when the police visited the scene, making him a suspect.

Simwanza said the incident was not an ordinary case of arson as preliminary investigations revealed that the woman was murdered.

He said the body of the deceased was deposited in the Chipata Central Hospital Mortuary awaiting postmortem and that a manhunt for the husband had been launched.