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Banket man (80) killed in raging veld fire 

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West 

AN elderly security guard from Plumstead Farm, Banket, was Friday killed by a raging veld fire, according to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

The deceased has been identified as Sakatiza Mariza aged 80.

Mashonaland West provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Margaret Chitove confirmed the incident to NewZimbabwe.com Monday.

“The now deceased was on his way home from his workplace at St John’s Farm in Banket. As he approached Plumstead Farm, a veld fire quickly spread towards him and he was burnt beyond recognition while trying to run away,” said Chitove.

Mariza was reportedly walking home alone along a footpath after knocking off duty when the incident occurred on August 19, 2022.

His body was discovered by Isiah Mutero of Plot 4 Plumstead Farm, who was driving through and observed a human-like figure lying lifeless and stopped to investigate.

Mutero noticed it was a male body burnt beyond recognition and alerted villagers at a nearby farm compound.

The victim’s 34-year-old son, Costa Mariza, rushed to the scene and positively identified his father’s remains.

A partially charred cellphone belonging to the deceased was beside the corpse.

A report was made at Banket Police Station, who attended the scene and Mariza’s body was conveyed to Banket District Hospital for post-mortem.

Police appealed to the public to put fireguards around homesteads, fields and paddocks to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and property.

“Members of the public should desist from starting unnecessary fires, and in the event that a fire occurs, they should swiftly and collectively put out the blaze. Let us be responsible communities free from fire,” urged Chitove.