MASVINGO — A bolt of lightning struck two grass-thatched huts and killed seven family members in Chief Mazungenye’s area, Bikita, on Monday.
By Tatenda Chitagu
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba in a statement yesterday identified the deceased as Marian Nebvuma (32), her children Fadzai (11) and Gloria Chenjerai (5); and four other family members, namely Claudia (4) and Crywind Mugwinyi (6), Odrey Masunda (4) and Esther Muchagara (5).
Charamba said Marian was in her bedroom hut while the rest of the family were in the kitchen hut when both huts went ablaze and trapped them inside.
She said the victims’ charred remains had since been taken to the Silveira Mission Hospital mortuary while burial arrangements were yet to be announced.
The incident happened at around 5pm during a heavy downpour in Mugwinyi village.
Villagers who rushed to the scene said when they arrived, some of the victims were crying for help while trapped inside the blazing huts.
“I went to the scene to investigate after I saw some unusually heavy and thick smoke coming out from the huts. When I arrived, the roofs of the huts had already collapsed and the children were crying for help,” one villager said.
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“I called other villagers who also came to the scene, but there was not much we could do as the roofs had already fallen in. It is so sad.”
Other villagers in the area expressed shock yesterday, describing the incident as ominous.