Mkhululi Ncube, Chronicle reporter
PRETORIA Portland Cement (PPC) Zimbabwe and a Harare-based NGO made donations for the 108-year-old Bulilima man who lost his homestead in an arson attack last month.
Various organizations and individuals have made donations to Mr. Lewis Phiri and his family, who became homeless after all four huts on their homestead were set on fire by an angry friend of one of the old man’s grandchildren. Family members could not save anything when the alleged attacker Felix Moyo, 25, threatened to kill anyone who tried to enter the burning huts.
The Minister of State in Vice-President Chiwenga’s office, Dr. Evelyn Ndlovu, who is Senator for Bulilima and Mangwe and was part of the resource coordination, sent a truck over the weekend to deliver straw grass to the family.
“My truck transported some straw for the kitchen, but we need more to finish the cabins so that the family has enough space. In addition to the elderly, there are children who are traumatized by what happened. Those who can do so support the family to compliment what has been done so far, ”said Dr. Ndlovu.
Dr. Ndlovu said brick and more cement could help the family have a strong house that can withstand the elements.
Last week, Cosmas Zulu, former Highlanders Football Club coach, donated a suit to 108-year-old grandfather from Tjinjika village, Bulilima district, after he cried that the arson attack had resulted in his best suit, which he would have liked to burn.
PPC was approached with a request to donate eight bags of cement to ensure that the house was plastered.
The company’s sales and marketing director, Mr. Nkosana Mapuma, said PPC was touched by the centenary’s story.
“As PPC Zimbabwe, our community means a lot to us and we were touched by what happened to a senior member of our Zimbabwean community. When asked for help, we didn’t think twice because we believe we are stronger together. We hope that the man and his family will find peace in their new home, ”he said.
A Harare NGO Africaid Zvandiri donated a bed, food and clothes to the family over the weekend, which will bring relief to the old man when he complained of having to sleep on the floor.
With the donations received, the two-bedroom house under construction will be completed within a few days so that the family can find protection.
Several people inside and outside Zimbabwe made donations to the family in cash and kind. Last month, Sweden-based Zimbabwean Tichaona Maphosa pledged to give the family $ 50 every month for a year and has since sent the first installment as promised.
Two WhatsApp groups were set up in Zimbabwe and South Africa to coordinate and mobilize resources to support the family.
Mr Derrick Ncube, who is coordinating the resources in South Africa and who has raised almost R 10,000 so far, welcomed the support of the well-wishers.
“We have set ourselves the goal of building a two-room house, and from now on we will complete the house in a few days with the donation from PPC. We received a lot of support from well-wishers. We would have liked to have built more rooms for them, but our resources can only get us so far. We hope more people can come in with thatch to renovate a burned hut or two. With the new two bedroom house, we are grateful that the family will have something long lasting, ”he said.
Those who want to help the family can contact the old man’s granddaughter, Miss Sibongile Nzimande, on 0776572691.
There is an option to take goods to the Chronicle offices on 9th Avenue and George Silundika Street in Bulawayo for delivery to the family.