Near tragedy averted after theft

2018-11-22 06:01
Zanokhanyo Children’s Safety Home’s Nolubabalo Nditha, showing the damage the fire caused to her orphanage. PHOTO: siyabonga kalipa

Zanokhanyo Children’s Safety Home’s Nolubabalo Nditha, showing the damage the fire caused to her orphanage. PHOTO: siyabonga kalipa

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What was a place of safety for orphans living in Zanokhanyo Children’s Safety Home in Makhaza, nearly turned into the last place they would ever set their eyes on, after it was allegedly set alight, during theft, last Wednesday.

Zanokhanyo is home to nine orphaned children between the ages of five and 17 years.

Nolubabalo Nditha said it was not the first time the place was destroyed by fire.

“In 2007, we lost everything in a fire and some children were hurt, fortunately this time, no one was injured,” said Nditha.

She suspected that a criminal gained access into the venue through a storeroom at the back of the house.

“We store unused stuff in the shack, a criminal broke into that shack, (and) that is how the fire started ... Because it was too dark, he used a match to find his way, and that is how the fire was started,” she said.

She said the culprit was caught and beaten up by the community after admitting to having started the fire.

She said it is someone known to them and that she is disappointed he did what he allegedly did, and, as a result have lost everything.

Nditha thanked her neighbours for accommodating them, saying that she does not know where they will sleep going forward.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped us and would plead with others that can help, to help us,” she said.

Esther Lewis, a spokesperson for the department of Social Development, said social workers from the Metro East region have reached out to the owner to provide support and conduct risk assessments for each child.

She said the children will be placed in temporary safe care in the interim.

Harare police station spokesperson Captain Siyabulela Vukubi confirmed that a shack was set alight last week Wednesday in Makhaza.

He said: “It is alleged that a suspect broke into the shack, stole items, before setting the shack alight. Vukubi said a case of arson has been opened and that the investigation has led to the arrest of a 25 year old man.

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