ZIMBABWEANS yesterday hailed as a hero Sirizani Butau, who risked his life to save at least eight people from a bus that caught fire along the Harare-Mutare Highway on Christmas eve.
Butau, who is currently admitted at a Kadoma Hospital after suffering third degree burns, went out of his way to save accident victims who would otherwise have been burnt to death in the inferno which engulfed the bus and the fuel tanker.
Social media celebrated the heroics of Butau, whose enduring image while standing on the tarmac with visible burns, inspired many to raise money for his medical and upkeep bills.
Butau’s brother Trevor told NewsDay that his brother was overwhelmed by the love of Zimbabweans.
“At the moment he is unable to talk because he is being attended to by doctors, what we can say is he is overwhelmed by the kindness and love from across Zimbabwe, he never sought to be a hero and he does not feel like one,” said Trevor.
Once his EcoCash mobile number was put on social media, Zimbabweans sent him money until his wallet reached its limit leaving many, who wanted to honour him, shut out.
A philanthropist who identified himself as @thegiverzim on Twitter and has worked with Hstv, an arm of Alpha Media Holdings, through the TV station donated $250 000, to Butau.
“If it encourages others to consider putting a hand and helping this hero out, who now because of his injuries might be unable to provide for his family, you can share my donation with the public, it is your call,” he said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba wrote:
“The President recognises Cde Butau for heroically putting his own life at risk to save traffic accident victims who could have been burnt in a conflagration when a bus and a fuel tanker collided. He promised national recognition,” Charamba said.
Many have called on the government to consider giving Butau a diplomatic passport, and meeting all his medical expenses