Mashonaland West Bureau
TWO children were burnt beyond recognition when a veld fire swept through Mitchel Primary School in Hurungwe East on Thursday with the Civil Protection Unit on the ground to assess the damage and help the families.
The fire enveloped three staff house destroying clothes, property and grain before killing two siblings aged five and six. Villagers were making a fireguard using what they planned as a controlled fire, a method frowned upon, and the fire suddenly went out of control and spread rapidly.
The two children were Early Childhood Development pupils at the school.
Hurungwe district development coordinator and Civil Protection Unit head Mr Andrew Tizora said a team from the Office of the President, Environmental Management Agency, his district unit, the Public Works Ministry and other departments was deployed yesterday to assess the damage, help the affected families and community and work out what had to be done next.
Hurungwe East Legislator, Ngoni Masenda pledged assistance to the grieving family and teachers who lost property and valuables.
One of the teachers, Mr Joseph Mazarura who lost everything in the inferno said he only managed to salvage his academic certificates.
All the three teachers lost everything in the inferno.
I am still confused about how these children got trapped and died in the fire because I last saw these children standing outside and what happened later I don’t recall.
The mother then alerted us and efforts to rescue them were futile,” he said.
The three families now need food, clothes and blankets urgently along with accommodation solutions as they now have nowhere to stay.
The father of the dead children, Mr Zonorashe Musiiwa, is currently at Chikangwe High School where he is receiving psychosocial support.
EMA’s provincial spokesperson, Mr Munyaradzi Nhariswa said preliminary investigations showed that the veld fire that occurred on Thursday was caused by three people, now assisting the police in their investigations, who were making fireguards around their gardens when the fire went out of control.
“We urge people to desist from starting open fires for whatever reason, including land clearance and fireguard construction because it quickly leads to veld fire outbreaks because we are in the fire season, which statutorily runs from the 31 July to 31 October of each year,” he said.