PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says he appreciates the selfless sacrifice shown by Sirizani Butau who helped eight people escape from the jaws of death when a bus they were travelling in caught fire after colliding with a fuel tanker near Mutare.
He was speaking during the National Thanksgiving and Dedication Service in Bulawayo this Sunday morning.
“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,” he said.
Butau, a trucker from Kadoma, was one of the first motorists to arrive at the 242km peg along the Harare-Mutare highway where four people were killed when a Beta bus crashed into a fuel tanker and burst into flames just outside Mutare.
He turned into a lifesaving hero when he braved raging flames and pulled out eight people from the burning wreckage of the accident which took place at around 5.00pm on Chriistmas eve.
The death toll has reached five, and 25 are currently admitted to hospital for varying injuries. These included Butau who sustained burns while on his heroic rescue mission.
Trending images of Butau show him looking greasy, with burns on his legs and arms from the ravaging flames.
“The truck that was involved in the accident was being driven by my colleague and friend. So I rushed and found him still alive, so I tried to save him because I knew that with time the petrol would catch fire, so when I was trying to retrieve him, that is when it caught fire,” Butau said.
Many people have praised Butau with some already looking for his contacts so they may offer him some “presents” in appreciation of the sterling job he did on Christmas eve. Others have suggested that the State give him some official recognition of sorts.