Philanthropist Dr Johannes Marisa’s Ruwa Riverside house was gutted by fire last Friday.
Children who were in the first floor aged 12, 11 and one year had to jump out of the window of the first floor bedroom as it was dangerous to use normal exit points.
The Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association founding president, Dr Marisa’s family and workers are suspecting that there could have been a thief who torched the house to destroy evidence.
An eye witness, Garikai Ekaya, 36, who is Dr Marisa’s gardener said there was a thunderstorm on the day and after a while he smelt smoke and initially thought it was the smell of food being cooked.
“I thought the smell was coming from the guardroom where I went from the car I was seated in. “When I got out of the car towards the guardroom that is when I saw smoke coming from the house.
“I went to the double storey house where I called Mai Marisa’s younger sister and the other children warning them there,” said the gardener.
Another worker at the house, only known as Bule, went to help and evacuated three children in the house. On his suspicions on what might have caused there, he said,
“I cannot suspect anything but there was thunder and lightning at first and the rest happened like I said already.
“I cannot suspect thieves because there was no one except those who live here; I do not stay here but I come and work here from my home out there in the community.” said Ekaya.
Visually traumatised Dr Marisa was just walking around his home in confusion whilst singing a song by the late Cephas Mashakada, “Wakauya Panyika Usina Chinhu”.
He managed to speak to his Westview Clinics crew who had come to sympathise with him.
“Thank God no one died or got injured. We prioritise human life and health. But yes, I do not have even a shirt to put on.
“Look at me, this is all I have. Worse our Westview Clinics’ medical stocks disappeared and tens of thousands of US dollars all vanished. Look at that, our medical stock is now in ashes.
“My wife called me at 3pm informing me that our home was on fire. She said the fire brigade came but the family had already evacuated our children from that bedroom. Lucky I had not put in burglar bars” he said.