Zimbabwe — A FAMILY of six in Lupanes Pupu ward learnt the hard way that fire is a merciless and terribly destructive phenomenon after they were left homeless and without food when their homestead made up of three huts and a maize granary, was completely destroyed by a raging veld fire last month. The veld fire, which also razed the familys maize field, according to Mr Patrick Nduna Moyo (86), reached his homestead when his wife, Mrs Elina Moyo nee Nyathi was home alone. She failed to extinguish the fire. Said Mr Moyo: Everything has been completely destroyed, razed to the ground. My wife was alone when the fire started and there was nothing she could do to stop it. By the time we got home everything had been destroyed including the granary, which had our entire maize crop. Mr Moyo, who revealed that the blaze lasted for four days, disclosed that nothing was salvaged from the fire as all property including clothes, blankets, pots and other kitchen utensils were burnt. The other property that was burnt was made up of two kitchen units, a bed, a wardrobe, two doors and door frames, lamps and candles. We could not even pick a spoon from the huts, nothing was saved. As I speak to you, we are all wearing the same clothes we wore the day the fire broke out. My four grandsons have been left with no uniforms; they are now going to school wearing the same dirty clothes. Children are not supposed to experience such things, said the devastated Mr Moyo. Mr Moyo added that his family had been reduced to beggars as they are now forced to ask for food from neighbours and well-wishers. We have been reduced to the level of dogs as we are now being thrown leftovers. I am having sleepless nights and a never-ending headache as I am failing to find a way out of this abyss, he said. The gray-haired Mr Moyo revealed that as much as his situation was dire he had not lost hope and was optimistic that his family would scrape through. As I speak we are in the process of building a new homestead and the huts are almost complete. Two have been done and only the walls and floors need to be plastered. My son, who lives a short distance from us, has been of great help as he has accommodated us and assisted us in to build a new home. Only God knows why this fire destroyed my home. I will not question his actions because he works in mysterious ways. All that I know is that he is on my side and he will help me carry the load, said Mr Moyo. One of the grandsons, Learnmore Moyo (16) said that he had seen better days and wished that the tribulations they are going through would flash by quickly. My brother its not that easy, life is hard. My brothers and I are forced to go to school on empty stomachs and you know how hard it is to concentrate when you are hungry. My prayers are that people can come and help us to get through this, said Learnmore. Learnmores prayers were somehow answered as the senator of the area, Mr Dalumuzi Khumalo, donated three blankets, three buckets of maize and an assortment of groceries to the family last Saturday. Mr Moyo could not hide his joy and relief as his family was going to fill its stomachs and warm themselves with the donated blankets. He ululated and uttered words of gratitude. Mr Khumalo urged people in his constituency and outside to come forward and lend a helping hand to the Moyo family. This family is made up of the elderly and young so it cannot fend for itself. They need help and I am begging people who have clothes and food to spare to give the family. They desperately need help, he said.