Zvamaida Murwira and Mukudzei Chingwere
President Mnangagwa has hailed Mr Sirizani Butau for heroically saving lives at an accident scene in Mutare on Friday, saying the Government will honour him for the sacrifice.
Mr Butau, a truck driver, was not involved in the accident, but hastily rushed to assist more than half a dozen people out of the bus that caught fire after colliding with a fuel tanker.
He even had tried to rescue his colleague, the tanker driver
A crowd funding initiative by local Zimbabweans on social media is in motion to assist the accident hero.
In a message on his micro-blogging Twitter page, President Mnangagwa said the Government will honour Mr Butau for his sacrifice.
“Let me take this opportunity to appreciate Sirizani Butau who saved people from the Mutare accident. As Government we will honour him for his selfless sacrifice.”
The family of Mr Butau has been overwhelmed by the empathy from citizens who have made financial contributions towards his medical bills.
This comes as Mr Butau’s Ecocash number has since received its weekly transactional limit as members of the public jostled to send money.
In a brief interview on his hospital bed, Mr Butau said he was humbled by the public’s overwhelming response.
“I am humbled by the response. It is something that I never expected. My preoccupation on the day was to help and unfortunately got injured in the process, but am doing well,” said Mr Butau.
Commenting on his husband’s heroic act, Mrs Wadzanai Butau said she never expected that her husband would overnight be touted as a super-hero.
“It’s quite humbling. I wish I could be able to do the same to others in need,” she said.
Mrs Butau said she received a phone call from her husband informing her that he was injured while rescuing passengers.
“My husband is a truck driver. On this day he was travelling from Beira to Zambia. When he called I intended to travel that night, but he dissuaded me from doing so.
“I travelled the following day with some relatives to Mutare where by then he had been admitted in hospital.
“We requested the medical doctors to discharge him so that he will be treated in Kadoma where we reside because his continued stay in Mutare would have taken a toll on us in terms of accommodation and other related costs,” said Mrs Butau who is a mother of three.
“At the moment we are in Kadoma at a private hospital where he is being treated. He is recovering well.”
Pictures of a scalded truck Mr Butau in hospital almost broke the internet over the weekend as they inundated various social media platform.
Apparently, he was driving another truck when he identified one of the vehicles that had been involved in the fatal crash. Despite facing imminent danger, Butau chose to risk his life to save his fellow countrymen.
Five people died in the accident while 60 were sent to Victoria Chitepo Hospital for treatment after sustaining injuries.