THREE homes belonging to members of the same family were destroyed in three consecutive days by mysterious fires in Plumtree.
Sources in Madlambuzi area said the family has suffered from the same tragedy before, in 2010 and 2013, when four homesteads were again reduced to ashes by the mysterious fires. This time the fires broke out last Thursday morning, and continued till Saturday, moving from one home to the next.
Matabeleland acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the incident, saying investigations were underway.
“We confirm receiving a case of homes being destroyed by mysterious fires in Madlambuzi area, Plumtree. Investigations are underway to find the cause of the fires,” she said.
Villagers said the fires were scary as no one could explain their origin. “They just start out of nowhere. It is the third time that this same family has experienced destructions by these mysterious fires. The first one was in 2010 while the second was in 2013,” said the source that preferred anonymity.
The source said the family could be the targets of avenging spirits.
“Maybe they committed a crime and some evil spirits are making them suffer by destroying their property with fires every now and then. They are lucky though; no one has ever been injured in the fires because they always break out when there is no one at home.”
The source said Nokuthula Tshuma (51)’s home in Ngotsha area, Madlambuzi, was the first to burn down.
“The fire broke out after she had left for the fields early on Thursday morning. Neighbours put out the fire. Property worth about $1 000 was destroyed.
“On the next day, a homestead belonging to Robert Tshuma (53) also caught fire and property worth about $300 which was in his zinc sheeted main house was destroyed. This time the owner of the house was close by and they managed to put out the fire before it caused severe damage. On Saturday, Bongani Tshuma (37), who is based in South Africa, also lost a house full of property to the fires. The total value of property lost at the third home was yet to be ascertained,” said the source.
Another villager said in 2013, the Plumtree District Civil Protection Unit had to intervene after the family was badly affected, having lost property worth thousands of dollars.
“Their homesteads were reduced to ashes in 2013 to an extent that the local leadership engaged the CPU to assist the family that was left with nothing. Soon after the CPU pitched tents for them, they caught fire from nowhere and burnt down completely.