Sekuru Jenias Manenji Mahlongo Mahachi, a prominent retired Gutu teacher, died in a fire that broke out while he was asleep in his house in Nyazvidzi on Wednesday night.
He was 90.
Sekuru Mahachi was burnt beyond recognition, and his limbs were reduced to ashes. His brother Stewart Mahachi confirmed the death to The Mirror.
Sekuru Mahachi died while probably sitting on a stool in the corner of his bedroom.
The fire was discovered by his son Munyaradzi who had visited him from Mutare on that same day and was sleeping in a spare bedroom.
“There was choking smoke at around 11 pm, and when I passed through the bedroom to check, I realised that my father’s bedroom was on fire and the wooden door had already fallen in. It was too hot to enter the bedroom, and I called two other people at home to try and rescue him.
“We dashed to collect water in buckets but we discovered that by the time we had extinguished the fire, Sekuru Mahachi had been reduced to charcoal,” said Munyaradzi.
He suspects that the fire started from a lit candle which fell onto the mattress. Munyaradzi had taken his father to Mpandawana Growth Point the same day to see a doctor.
“He looked very well after seeing the doctor and had a good supper at around 8 pm before retiring to bed. He insisted on keeping his candle alight when we prepared him to sleep and hence the disaster,” said Munyaradzi.
Sekuru Mahachi’s body has since been taken to Masvingo General Hospital for postmortem and burial is expected tomorrow or on Sunday.
Sekuru Mahachi was born under Headman Mutema’s area in Gutu in 1932. His father Zvaviruka Mahachi was a prominent Methodist preacher at Mudhengezi in Nyazvidzi and later got involved in pegging of new farms in Nyazvidzi small scale farming area.
Sekuru Mahachi started his education in Mutema and later did his standard six at Waddilove Mission in Marondera. He briefly worked as a temporary teacher and later left for Bulawayo to work as a general hand. He returned to Waddilove and later qualified as a primary school teacher.
He taught at various schools in Chikomba District including Chamukwenjera, Chambara, and Chikwidibire, and later taught in Gutu at Chiguhune, Gonese and Domborenhikiti.
It has been revealed that the name Mahlongo belonged to his maternal grandfather. Sekuru Mahachi was named Mahlongo because he was very tall just like his grandfather.
His wife Monica Mahachi Nee Patsanza died two years ago.
He is survived by six children, namely; Tsitsi, Muteuro, Munyaradzi, Dennis, Enia and Tatenda.