2 Kutama learners in heroic battle after hostel blaze

THE acts of bravery by Takudzwa Machuwe and Kapfumvute Mwamba, who are Form 3 learners at Kutama College in Zvimba, rescued 185 learners after their hostel caught fire around 2am yesterday.

The hostel that caught fire housed Form 2 learners.

After failing to douse the fire that started from the television room around 2am, the duo quickly sought the support of others.

Another Form 3 learner was dispatched to the headmaster’s residence to alert him of the disaster at the school, while Takudzwa and Kapfumvute begun the rescue mission.

In separate interviews yesterday, Takudzwa and Kapfumvute said they evacuated all the Form 2s unhurt, but could not retrieve any of the learners’ belongings.

“I was awakened by some of the Form 2 students around 2am telling me of a fire that was in the television room,” said Takudzwa.

“We tried to put out the fire, but failed. One of the captains that we share the responsibility of taking care of these students with, rushed to alert the headmaster at his residence.”

After helping the learners out of the hostel, the two had a fresh challenge, of imploring those that wanted to brave the heat to collect their smartphones and laptops.

“We told them to value their lives more than their gadgets, which are replaceable,” said Kapfumvute.

A fire tender from Norton Town Council responded to the call, but did little to save the situation.

By yesterday afternoon, most of the students had been taken home by their parents and guardians to recover from the shock of almost losing lives.

The Primary and Secondary Education ministry was at Kutama College yesterday with psychologists to counsel the learners.

Addressing parents yesterday during a visit by ministers and provincial heads, Provincial Education Director Mr Jason Dzveta said a two-week break had been granted to the students.

“We are grateful to the heroic works done in saving the 185 students who escaped unhurt. As Education Ministry, we have engaged our psychologists who have given counselling to the students and we have given them a two-week break which we believe will go a long way in providing more counselling and relaxing environment.

“On top of that, the break is to give parents time to raise what can be needed by your children here,” he said.

Most parents had spent their last for fees, food items, uniforms and other needs and they requested the school’s officials if an insurance package was in place to cater for their children needs.

“We want to know what we should bring in the next two weeks when we bring our students here,” one parent said.

The school’s development committee chairman, Colonel Edward Mutukwa, said all pledges and donations to support learners and the reconstruction of the hostel would be accounted for.

Businessman and Zvimba South Member of Parliament, Cde Philip Chiyangwa pledged cement, blankets and cash.

In their addresses, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Zvimba West legislator, Ziyambi Ziyambi, and Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka assured parents of Government’s support.

“We value this school as it has sentimental value to the people of Zvimba and the nation. We will talk to the President (Mnangagwa) . . . so that relevant systems are activated for parents to have a soft landing,” said Minister Ziyambi.

Minister Mliswa-Chikoka said the provincial Civil Protection Unit (CPU) had been activated, adding that cause of the inferno was still being investigated.

The school, which was constructed in 1914, has channelled illustrious and prominent Zimbabweans including the late former president, Cde Robert Mugabe, whose homestead is a stone’s throw away from the college.Herald

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