63 pupils cheat death as hostel goes up in flames

SIXTY-THREE Form Two pupils at a Roman Catholic Church-run Mukaro Girls High School in Gutu, Masvingo, cheated death on Monday night after their hostel went up in smoke.

By Tatenda Chitagu

What remains of the school beds and trunks after they were gutted by fire at Mukaro High School in Gutu

What remains of the school beds and trunks after they were gutted by fire at Mukaro High School in Gutu

The school head, Acquainos Mazhunga, confirmed the incident yesterday, saying preliminary indications were that the fire could have been sparked by a candle left unattended by one of the pupils.

Mazhunga said although there were no casualties, property worth $100 000 was destroyed in the inferno.

“It is true that one of our hostels housing Form Two students caught fire from a candle lit by one of the girls.

This was despite the fact that there was no power outage,” he said.

“No one was hurt, but we are counting the losses, as the roof collapsed in, students’ uniforms and their property, as well as beds, all went up in flames.”

Some of the pupils’ parents reportedly rushed to the school yesterday with new clothing and uniforms, while some said they wanted to take their children home for a while to deal with the trauma. Others said they did not have money to buy new uniforms and will have to take their children home and return them once they get money.

In 2012, the school made headlines after 700 pupils sneaked out of their dormitories at night in protest over poor diet and walked about 20km to the district education offices in Gutu to register their displeasure.

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