Aunt help­less as 2 ba­bies burn to death

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu

AN aunt heard her two neph­ews aged three and four years scream­ing for help while trapped in a burn­ing house but the flames were too big for her to res­cue them, lead­ing to their ag­o­nis­ing death.

The two mi­nors from Bulil­ima District were burnt be­yond recog­ni­tion and their bod­ies were found hud­dled to­gether in a cor­ner, sug­gest­ing that they had tried in vain to es­cape.

The two cousins, Than­dol­wethu Moyo and Zakhele Ncube, were left by their aunt, Mrs Nokuthula Moyo, alone in the four-roomed house while she per­formed her house­hold chores at around 6AM last Fri­day.

Their rel­a­tives sus­pect that they were play­ing with matches, ig­nit­ing the deadly in­ferno.

One of the boys was an or­phan while the par­ents of the other one live in South Africa.

When their aunt re­alised that her house was on fire, it proved to be too late to res­cue them.

When vil­lagers fi­nally ex­tin­guished the fire, the bod­ies of the two boys were hud­dled in a cor­ner of the room and they were burnt be­yond recog­ni­tion.

Head­man Sikhathini con­firmed the in­ci­dent which oc­curred in Manyewu Vil­lage.

“There is an in­ci­dent of two chil­dren from my area of ju­ris­dic­tion who died on Fri­day morn­ing. The two boys were left by their aunt and it’s sus­pected that they played with matches which caused the fire.

“When she left them they were awake and play­ing on the bed and a few min­utes later the house was on fire,” he said de­scrib­ing the in­ci­dent as a huge tragedy for the com­mu­nity.

Mr Nd­abez­inhle Moyo, an un­cle to the late boys, said his sis­ter-in-law woke up at around 6AM to start a fire in her kitchen hut to pre­pare some food.

He said she went on to sweep the yard and a few min­utes later a neigh­bour called out that smoke was com­ing out of her house.

Mr Moyo said his sis­ter-in-law rushed to the house and tried to en­ter in or­der to save the ba­bies but failed.

“My sis­ter-in-law rushed to the door and tried to en­ter but she was choked by smoke and she re­treated. She called out to the two boys to run out of the house but they kept scream­ing and call­ing out to her to save them.

“I also saw the fire from my homestead and I rushed to the scene to­gether with other vil­lagers. We tried to ex­tin­guish the fire but we faced great dif­fi­cul­ties and it took us long but we were al­ready too late,” he said.

Mr Moyo said when the fire fi­nally died out, his neph­ews had been burnt be­yond recog­ni­tion. He said the re­mains of their bod­ies were hud­dled in a cor­ner in the bed­room hut.

He said he as­sumed that the two boys were try­ing to run away from the flames.

Mr Moyo said the death of the two boys had left their fam­ily dev­as­tated and they were wait­ing for some rel­a­tives who live out of the coun­try to de­cide when they would be buried. — @DubeMatutu

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