Sunday 9 October 2022


AN 80-year-old Lupane granny was evacuated out of her fire-engulfed hut in her sleep by alert neighbours when her bedroom hut was allegedly torched by a mentally challenged man who also set on fire her neighbour’s homes.

The incident happened at Mpofu Village, Lupane in Matabeleland North Province and left four villagers stranded as nothing was salvaged from their homesteads. Sunday News visited the homesteads yesterday, where a sombre, tense and funeral-like atmosphere enveloped the homesteads.

Gogo Concilia Moyo lost all her property after her hut was torched by a suspected mentally challenged man

One of the victims of the arson Mrs Concilia Moyo (69) whose property was reduced to ashes said the day will remain etched in her memory and would haunt her for as long as she lives. Mrs Moyo said she retraced her steps back to Lupane three years ago after her husband died in Chinhoyi where she had a home.

“It was just after 9pm when we had retired to bed that I heard something burning my leg and as I woke up I saw the house engulfed in white smoke. I woke my sister up and told her the hut was on fire. I then rushed to open the door while my sister took a six-year-old child who was sleeping with us. The fire then engulfed the whole house and we couldn’t even grab a single thing.

“We lost everything, two double beds, two wardrobes, as well as food. I work at the Bubi-Lupane Irrigation Scheme so I had been given my food allocation that included 8 x 50 kilogrammes of maize, 2 x 50 kilogrammes of wheat as well as everything we used at home. These include kitchen utensils. I had just bought two door frames and window frames from proceeds of Bubi-Lupane Irrigation Scheme. I had also placed an order for bricks and the US$150 which was reserved for the payment got burnt inside,” said Mrs Moyo.

She said the greatest need that they have is shelter and with the rainy season fast approaching they remain unsettled. She said the suspect torched the next homestead where Gogo MaPhiri (80) was sleeping.

“When we came out of the house, we witnessed that Gogo MaPhiri’s house was also on fire. The young neighbours who were helping us then ran and broke the door and rescued the old lady who was in her sleep,” said Mrs Moyo.

Thembinkosi Nyathi (19) and Nigel Mpofu were the heroes of the night.

“We were away from the village and when we came back around 9pm we saw our neighbour’s house on fire and heard our elders screaming. We then ran to Mrs Moyo’s homestead. As we were trying to help, we saw another fire breaking out at Gogo MaPhiri’s home. We then rushed to the house, broke the door and found her deep in her sleep and we carried her out.”

Meanwhile efforts to get a comment from the police were fruitless although sources say the suspect was arrested and that he had since appeared in court where he was referred for mental examination. Sunday News


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