The peasantry community of Chiboni Village in the Lubimbi area under Chief Kavula in Matabeleland North province, was last Sunday left in grief when a three-year-old baby was burnt to death after fire gutted down the bedroom hut she was sleeping in.
Chiboni village is located on the boundary of Dete and Binga districts.
Confirming the tragic incident, provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese told state media that the cause of the fire is not yet known.
“We received a report about a child who died when a bedroom hut she was sleeping in caught fire in Lubimbi. We are investigating what could have happened and the cause of the fire,” said Chief Inspector Makonese.
She also urged Zimbabwe’s general citizenry to ensure that minors are monitored to ensure their safety and protect them against all sorts of accidents ‘the same way we appeal for their protection from different kinds of abuse’.
Makonese said the tragic demise of the deceased juvenile, who has been identified as Shallom Lilly Mnkombwe, is being treated as sudden death.
She was buried on Monday.
Circumstances surrounding Shallom Lilly’s death are that her mother Honour Mnkombwe (26) together with her father Patrick Ngwenya (52), left her sleeping in the bedroom whilst they went out to fetch water at a nearby borehole, around 6am on Sunday.
It was upon their return from the borehole, which is about 1km away from their homestead, that the two realised that their hut was on fire. Subsequently, they called out for help from neighbors.
Although the compliant neighbors managed to help put the fire out, the child had already perished whilst all the property in the room was irretrievably burnt.
A report was made to the police who attended the scene and took the body to United Bulawayo Hospital for postmortem.
Additional Reporting: Zwnews