Mysterious fires destroy five homesteads

07 Sep, 2013 - 12:09 0 Views

The Chronicle

Sukulwenkosi Dube Plumtree Correspondent
FIVE homes have been destroyed by mysterious fires tormenting a family in Madlambuzi area, Bulilima District in a suspected case of witchcraft. The fires, which are reported to be tormenting the Tshuma family in Ngotsha Village area started last month. A family member who is also the area’s village head, Mr Robert Tshuma said the incident has traumatised the family.

“We are wondering what is going on in our family. The fires started on 18 August and what is surprising is that they are only affecting our family members. Five homes belonging to family members have been destroyed by these mysterious fires whose origins we cannot establish,” he said.

Mr Tshuma said it was difficult to put out the fires once they started.

“The fire just starts out of the blue. When it starts we first see a dark cloud of smoke rising and then huge flames erupt and from there the fire is unstoppable. We have tried controlling the fire on several occasions but to no avail.

“Whenever it starts we know that all we can do is watch in despair until the fire finally dies out.
“We really suspect this is an act of witchcraft because these fires just erupt during the day even when we are at home which means if it were an act arson we would have caught the culprits by now,” said Mr Tshuma.

He said he lost two huts to the mysterious fires as well as household property.
“The fire last hit my homestead on Monday and I lost a second hut in the process as well as my valuables which include my ID card. My younger brother also lost a hut and some property to the fire on Wednesday.

“Our family comprises of five separate homes which are located close to each other. All these homes have been struck by these mysterious fires. Two of the homes have been completely destroyed while the remaining three including mine have been partly damaged,” said Mr Tshuma.

He said the five homesteads housed 18 people while other family members were based in South Africa.
A neighbour from the same village said the strange happenings in the Tshuma family started after the mysterious death of their father.

“Their father died recently and the cause of his death is not known. We have never witnessed such mysterious fires,” said the neighbour.
Chief Madlambuzi said he visited the family members after the first incident together with the district administrator who gave them tents.

“There is a family which is being tormented by mysterious fires. Five homes have been damaged by the fires and DA gave them tents to provide temporary shelter.

“These families have lost property and their houses to the mysterious fire which we suspect has something to do with witchcraft,” he said.
Chief Madlambuzi said he had advised the family to consult traditional leaders.

“It could be either one of the family members or the whole family wronged someone who is now on a revenge mission.
“This problem is affecting only one family out of the whole village and this is raising eyebrows,” he said.


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