Home LOCAL NEWS Fire Guts More Than 30 Bindura Homesteads

Fire Guts More Than 30 Bindura Homesteads

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Fire Guts More Than 30 Bindura Homesteads

A mysterious fire has gutted more than 30 homesteads at a settlers’ village, Ledbury Farm in Matepatepa in Bindura.

The incident left the villagers with a lot of questions and many are living in fear.

Desperate villagers are now looking for answers everywhere from prophets and other spiritual channels.

It has been alleged that someone is using Sandawana, a goblin believed to bring good fortune to one person at the expense of others.

Although the fire which started on June 27 at Torero compound has subsided after close to a month of burning, women and children are still sleeping in the open fearing that the remaining grass-thatched huts might catch fire while they sleep.

So desperate are some of the villagers that they have resorted to removing the grass thatch from their huts to protect their property.

When a reporter from The Herald got there, the situation at the compound was eerie and profound. The charcoal, the shells of the burnt down houses, the smells and everything else pointed to a disaster.

Sitting outside a thatched kitchen, Amai Chipo was quick to point out that it was not her homestead, but she was guarding her friend who was cooking inside, in case of the fire.

“We are friends and when she is done cooking she will come to my kitchen and guard outside while I cook. We are taking turns to guard each other,” she said.

“This has become our way of life now. Even when we are bathing in our grass built bathrooms, we are now guarding each other to avoid casualties.”

Describing the fire, she said it’s ‘silent’ fire that starts at the rooftop inside the house and is only identified when the house is already engulfed

Village head Antony Chipandire said the immediate need of the affected families are tents so that they have shelter.

Chipandire said he had gone to Mbire on a work-related trip when he received a call that houses were mysteriously burning down.

He went to Chief Negomo’s homestead to inform him of the events and he called a spirit medium who said one of the community members used sandawana juju for money-making rituals.

Prophets sent by the Chief to perform rituals at the village said they were afraid to point at the culprits without adequate security.

They then approached Chief Masembura and he did some rituals. The problem subsided for two days only and the fire started again.

They went back to the Chief and he summoned spirit mediums who said some people in the community have used juju.

The spirit medium performed some rituals and for now, the fire has subdued for four days now. A lot of rumours are going round in the compound with some saying the first fire victims are the juju culprits. However, these are just rumours.

If the rumours in the compound are anything to go by, one of the suspects allegedly obtained juju from his father-in-law to grow his flock of ducks.

Others say an unknown man visited the compound last year demanding a top-up of money to those he had given juju to because he was about to die.

Some are saying hyena “laughs” were heard in the compound.

The compound which harbours about 90 households is home to immigrants from Malawi and Mozambique as well as locals who were farm workers prior to the land reform.

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