AN 82-year-old woman and her granddaughter (10) from Binga were burnt to death after a hut they were sleeping in caught fire – barely a week after they moved into the area.
Kesina Muleya and Nomatter Mutsaka died while her grandson Budget Mutsaka (13) escaped and sought help from neighbours when the hut caught fire.
The incident occurred at around 3AM at Mucheni Village, Sinansengwe under chief Sinansengwe on Tuesday.
Ward 4 Councillor Elmon Mudenda, who made the report to Siabhuwa Police Station, said the tragedy was caused by poverty. He said people in the area were so poor that they sleep around fires as they cannot afford to buy blankets.
Villagers in my ward don’t know the comfort of sleeping because most of them can’t afford a single blanket. The fortunate ones who have one or two blankets still wake up in the wee hours as it gets colder and they also sit around fires.
“In this incident, this boy, Budget was getting into their poorly built hut which didn’t even have a door. He used a twig to light up the way. Probably he dropped it and ignited the makeshift door made of grass,” said Clr Mudenda.
He said when the boy saw that a fire had started in the hut, he tried to wake up his grandmother but failed. “The boy tried to put out the fire using a bucket of water but again failed. “He thereafter ran to alert a neighbour but when villagers came it was too late,” said clr Mudenda.
He said the situation was worsened by shortage of water in the area. “The two were burnt beyond recognition,” said Clr Mudenda. Chief Sinansengwe said the incident was unfortunate, especially considering that the family had recently moved to the village.