Police in Mashonaland East Province are investigating the death of a 77-year-old man from Sadza who was burnt beyond recognition by wildfires last week.
The Herald reports that on September 17, 2021, the now-deceased Gwapedza Takaindisa Julius went to a memorial service of his mother-in-law in Nhema Village, Sadza in the company of his nephews.
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On September 19 around 7 am, Takaindisa went to a nearby bush to relieve himself and that’s when he was reportedly engulfed by the veld fire and burnt beyond recognition.
Deputy police spokesperson for Mashonaland East province Assistant Inspector Misheck Denhere confirmed the incident adding that investigations into the case are in progress. He said:
It is said that he was seen trying to put out the fire by a female juvenile from Zerekete 2, Sadza who then advised the village head Cannan Mukono (55) through text messages but the messages were not delivered since his mobile phone was off.
On the same day around 1 pm, the deceased’s nephews and other people who were at the memorial service started looking for him. During the search, they reportedly met the village head, Mr Mukono who advised them that he had received a text message from his neighbour about someone who was trying to put off the fire but failed and was burnt to death.
It is said they teamed up and went to the scene and discovered the body of Takaindisa burnt beyond recognition. His national identity card was also recovered at the scene near the body.
Denhere said further investigations revealed that the fire was started by one Elliot Mukono of Mubani Village 1 while clearing a graveyard, about two kilometres away from the homestead where the memorial service was being conducted.
Mukono has since been arrested while Takaindisa’s body was conveyed to Sadza General Hospital mortuary for post-mortem.
When your clothes are on fire, it might help to Lay flat with your legs out straight so as much of your body as possible is in contact with the ground to smother any flames.
Covering your face will help prevent facial burns. Roll: Try to extinguish the flames by rolling over and over.
Pay attention to what’s burning and focus on putting out that area of your body.
More: The Herald