Friday 14 October 2022


WHEN Kesari Sibanda’s coffin was unloaded from a hearse at Red Rose Farm’s football ground yesterday, his family broke down in tears.

Sibanda’s family was one of the 10 families who were gathered under the tent that housed relatives and friends of the denary men who were burnt to death, some beyond recognition while trying to fight a veld fire that broke out at Red Rose Farm Lot 43 on Monday.

The Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Nqobizitha Ndlovu, Umzingwane MP Brigadier General (Rtd) Levi Mayihlome, Environmental Management Agency Board Chairperson Ambassador Zenzo Nsimbi, Zanu-F Politburo Member Cde Richard Ndlovu, Umzingwane District Development Coordinator (DDC) Mrs Siphathisiwe Mlotshwa and Insiza DDC Mr Zacharia Jusa attended the service.

The owner of Lot 43, Abel Moyo and his business partner, Mike Stone, who runs Red Rose Farm and their families were also among the mourners.

Cries of pain and heartbreak from women pierced the air as they wept at the sight of coffin after coffin carried to the centre of the gathering by Doves Funeral Services pallbearers.

It was sad to see 10 coffins lined up. Some of the deceased were too young to die — Luzibo Tshuma was just 18 when he met his death.

His uncle, Tobias Simusonde Kamambo said it was a double tragedy for their family as on the same day when Luzibo met his demise in Esigodini, his aunt’s huts was going down in flames in Binga.

“We had a very painful problem. When Luzibo encountered his death due to a veld fire in Esigodini, in Binga on the same day, my sister, Luzibo’s aunt, had her hut burnt down by a veld fire. We are distraught as a family after the two tragedies that have befallen us,” said Kamambo.

He said Luzibo will be buried at their rural home of Chisiizya under Chief Sinamagonde in Binga.

It was a double blow for Cryton Mudimba as he lost his brother Ian Mudimba (38) and his nephew, Oliver Mudenda (27).

Mourners break down during a mass funeral service in Esigodini yesterday

Ian leaves behind a wife and three children, while Oliver’s death has orphaned his two minor children and widowed his wife.

Thabani Sibanda, the uncle of Kesari Sibanda (53) said his death was heart-wrenching.

“We called him baba saMdawini. We have lost a father, grandfather and uncle. I would like to thank President Mnangagwa who sat down with the arms of Government and saw it fit to help us. Alone we wouldn’t have been able to. We are in mourning with the families who also lost their loved ones,” said Sibanda.

He said the father of six will be buried today at their rural home of Figtree in Matabeleland South province.

Petros Mdlongwa lost his brother Simon in the inferno, and said the family was left speechless.

“He was very respectful and had a good heart. I don’t remember even one instance that he was disrespectful to his elders or to anyone else. He touched a lot of lives and people testify that he was a good man,” said Mdlongwa. Chronicle


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