The Sunday Mail
THE holy month of Ramadan will never be the same again for a Muslim Kambuzuma family after their house was razed by a raging fire, killing their tenant’s child and destroying property worth thousands of dollars in the early hours of last Wednesday.
Six-year-old Walker Zvarevashe Moyo was burnt to death while his two-year-old sister, Tecla, sustained severe burns as fire ravaged property worth about US$60 000 at house number 313 Tsanga Road in Kambuzuma.
Walker was a Grade One pupil at Lochinvar Primary School.
A maroon Honda CRV belonging to the owner of the house was also burnt.
What started as a normal day for the Kamambo family, which is observing the praying and fasting month of Ramadan, turned into a nightmare later in the night.
Mr Ali Mesewu, the landlord’s son, came for evening prayers and went back to his house before electricity was restored around 11pm.
In about half an hour, Mr Mesewu then received a phone call informing him that the family house was on fire.
“As I made my way to the house, I could not see the front side of the house because it had already collapsed. Balls of fire were coming from the ceiling,” he narrated.
“When I arrived, the roof was still intact. The ceiling had collapsed and the fire was penetrating through the windows,” he said.
As the ceiling gave in, it burnt household goods and the children who were inside.
Before tragedy struck, the late Walker, his sister and maid had retired to bed.
Police Deputy spokesperson for Harare province, Assistant Inspector Webster Dzvova said a tenant’s housemaid, identified only as Mazikali, sought the landlord’s assistance (Mr Liton Kamambo), after waking up to discover that the house was on fire.
“It is alleged that the maid was sleeping with the children in the same room. When she saw that the house was ablaze, maybe she left the room to seek help from the landlord.
“It was reported that the door doesn’t open from the outside. So when the landlord rushed to help, he broke a window and managed to pull out Tecla, who had already been severely burnt. Unfortunately, they (Mr Kamambo and the maid) failed to rescue the now deceased. He perished in the fire,” Assist Insp Dzvova said.
Walker’s parents had gone to Zambia.
The families lost everything in the inferno and they are only left with the clothes they were putting on, on the fateful night.
One of the tenants had visited relatives in Warren Park on the fateful night. She said they were left with nothing following the inferno.
“My husband was not here so my sister-in-law invited me at her place in Warren Park. Then the kids also refused to stay behind in Kambuzuma, so we were all away. So we lost everything, identity documents, clothes, wardrobe, televisions and many more. I think this was an electricity fault,” Ms Losweater Katsande said.
Despite the loss, she is grateful for the gift of life.
Mr Mesewu said some money was also burnt in the raging fire.
“My brother had recently sent some money from South Africa for my father to purchase a stand for him. It was burnt in the fire.”
In addition to that, Mr Kamambo is a Treasurer at his church and a metal box containing some money was also in the fire. By the time of going to print, it had not yet been ascertained whether the metal box had managed to save the church’s money from the raging fire.
Although investigations are still underway, the fire brigade crew that attended the scene suspect that the fire might have been caused by an electrical stove which was not switched off during a power cut.
However, Mr Mesewu is convinced that the fire was caused by an electricity fault, not the stove.
“The room that was occupied by the children was a bedroom. This is where a gas tank, which was supposed to have been filled up with gas earlier on, had been left. They couldn’t fill up the tank.
“It was not affected while everything in that corner was burnt, that’s where it all started,” he reasoned.
Irate neighbours who thronged Mr Kamambo’s residence said Zesa should not cut off power willy-nilly.
“Zesa restores electricity very late at night when people are sleeping. It is giving us problems.
“A transformer was stolen in the neighbourhood and nothing has been done about it in a very long time,” Ms Pellargia Tinarwo said.
As investigations continue, Assist Insp Dzvova encouraged the public to switch off electrical gadgets and plugs whenever there are power outages to ensure that there are no electrical faults when power is restored.
“When using candles, it is also critical to remember to put them out before going to sleep to avoid starting fires,” Assist Insp Dzvova said.
Zesa’s spokesperson, Mr Fullard Gwasira could not be reached for comment.