Man dies in veld fire

   Man dies in veld fire

9 September 2009

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Zimbabwe — An 81-year-old man was burnt to death while 12 huts were reduced to ashes when a veld fire broke out at St James High School compound in Umguza District recently.

The police spokesperson for Matabeleland North, Assistant Inspector Martha Manyara, said Cephas Mpala was in the company of his 62-year-old wife when they noticed a veld fire approaching from the compound’s eastern direction.

“On Thursday at about 1.30pm, the pair was seated in the compound when they saw a fire approaching their direction from the east and decided to move their property from a thatched hut into a house with a zinc roof,” said Asst Insp Manyara.

She said while they were moving their valuables they did not realise that the fire was drawing closer.

“When they finally noticed that the fire was close, they decided to run away. The fire unfortunately caught up with the man and he was burnt to death,” said Asst Insp Manyara.

In the past week, the province experienced many cases of veld fires that destroyed large tracts of grazing land.

One of the affected farmers was the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu whose 2 500 hectares of grazing land was burnt leaving his herd of more than 2 000 cattle without pastures.

Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maphios Cheda whose farm shares a boundary with Minister Mpofu’s farm was also affected by the veld fire.

A villager lost 23 goats and seven tonnes of fertiliser.

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