Four children who were burnt to death last week after a fire gutted a shop they were sleeping in at Tshiphisane Village in Matopo, Matabeleland South, were buried Wednesday after the family received donations for the funeral from well-wishers, including Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, who visited the family Monday.
The deceased are two-year-old Mbongiseni Dube, three-year-old Thandolwenkosi Bhebhe, nine-year-old Gugulethu Dube, and eleven-year-old Iphithule Dube. They were left in the care of 20-year-old Limukani Mnguni, who reportedly left a gas stove on, prompting it to ignite a petrol container, and exploded in the children’s room.
Mnguni, who sustained severe burns, is said to be in a stable condition at United Bulawayo Hospitals.
Among those who attended the funeral were Matabelaland South Resident Minister Abednico Ncube, Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa, Matopo North legislator Never Khanye and businessman Mngane Ncube, who donated the four coffins.
Matopo South legislator, Soul Mahalima Ncube of Zanu PF, says there is need for awareness programs on how to use gas to avoid such tragic incidents.
Mahalima-Ncube tells VOA's Sithandekile Mhlanga that Vice President Mphoko also visited the grave-yard of the family of the late Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, which is located near the village where the children died. Nkomo's father, Nyongolo Nkomo is buried at the grave-yard.