The incident occurred at Uponda village in Kibiti district, Coast region, Rufiji Special Zone Commander, Onesmo Lyanga said yesterday.
He said police are holding one Richard Mathias, a resident of Dar es Salaam and Masasi in Mtwara region who is alleged to have lit the fire over marital issues.
“Preliminary investigations show that Mathias resolved to burn down the house after suspecting his lover Regina Mavondo of having an affair with another man. The bodies of the deceased were badly burned and thus the need to bury them immediately”, the officer noted.
Elaborating, Lyanga said Mathias went to visit his lover on the night February 8th 2020 and moved to torch the house, unaware that there were five other people inside.
The suspect was arrested at Njopeka village when attempting to flee to the city, he affirmed.
“Police found a ten liter petrol container whose contents were used in torching the house,” he stated.
Those killed in the incident are Regina Mavondo (31), Agnes Taimu (26), Mavondo’s younger sister Regina Elias (19), Frida Francis (22) and her four-year daughter Nuru Selemani, along with a three-year girl identified only as Maimuna.
In 2018 fire razed dozens of houses at Buguruni kwa Mnyamani in Dar es Salaam following an error by technicians from the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation (Dawasco), confusing the gas pipe with a water pipe.
The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) said the pipeline was accidentally hit by workers who were fixing water pipes at the area.
TPDC said the pipe immediately exploded after a gas leak. The pipe channels gas from Buguruni to nearby industries including Tanzania Cigarette Company (TCC) and Murza Oil.