Mthabisi Tshuma, Gwanda Correspondent
A 26-year-old woman, her four-year-old child and her boyfriend were last Friday night burnt beyond recognition when a fire gutted a shop they were sleeping in.
The incident, which occurred in Kafusi area in Gwanda District, Matabeleland South province, has shocked villagers who suspect foul play.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway.
“I can confirm that on February 12 at around 2200hrs at a place referred to as Kafusi Dam, three people were burnt beyond recognition after a fire broke out in a shop they were sleeping in.
“The deceased are Lindiwe Ngulube (26), her four-year-old child Divine Ndlovu and her boyfriend Valentine Ngwenya (26),” said Insp Mangena.
Insp Mangena said the shop caught fire when the trio had just retired to bed.
“The three retired to bed just after 2200hrs after having supper. After 20 minutes, neighbours heard an explosion and the shop caught fire. The neighbours tried to break in but failed as the entire building was engulfed in flames.
The three bodies were burnt beyond recognition,” said Insp Mangena.
She said everything in the shop was reduced to ashes.
Insp Mangena called on members of the public who might have information that could assist in the invesigations to contact any nearest police station.
Villagers who spoke to Chronicle said the three were burnt to death while they watched helplessly.
“I am one of the neighbours and was part of those who tried in vain to rescue the deceased. We tried to fish out the child through the window but failed because of the burglar bars.
“One of the deceased, Ngwenya tried to forcibly open the door but failed. They were screaming pleading with us to assist but unfortunately we could not,” said the villager who spoke on condition of [email protected]_mthire