Sunday, 12 June 2016


The father to two of the four children who died in Mwenezi last Wednesday after eating food suspected to have been laced with poison has demanded 25 cattle for his children to be buried. Five people including four juveniles and one elderly woman died when they ate food allegedly laced with an unknown herbicide at Village 7 in Masangula communal lands under Chief Chitanga.

National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the incident which occurred on Wednesday at around 4pm. She said no arrest has been made but police investigations are in progress.

In an interview at his homestead in Village 7 which is next to where tragedy struck, Peter Baloyi, father to the late Sylvia (7) and Beauty (4) said he would not allow the burial slated for today to go ahead unless the polygamous Musuteri Dhambarara (59) of Village 6, pays compensation, alleging he was the source of the problem. Baloyi’s sister was said to be married to Dhambarara, who has two other wives.

“We are planning to have the burial of my two children and two nephews on Sunday (today) on condition that Dhambarara pays 25 cattle. Failure to pay compensation will drive me to follow my children and nephews to the grave. Police should be here to provide security because I am pained. I don’t want to see Dhambarara and his girlfriend, Marita Zavirima who is my sister, anymore. If Dhambarara had not cohabited with my sister, we would not have experienced this tragedy. The two are not married despite the former being pregnant with the latter’s child. She has four children she sired with another man including the late two boys.”

Zavirima is said to have gone to the main homestead in Village 6 with an empty two-litre container to put milk after which she left it in one of her husband’s wives, Makanani Lisimani’s bedroom, who was not at home, while leaving for food for work duties. At around 11am, Dhambarara went to the cattle pen where he milked milk which was to be shared among his wives.

Upon her return Zavirima collected the milk and gave the first wife, Makanani to share among the three while she went to fetch water from a well, 50 metres from the homestead. Makanani later followed Zavirima to the well with her share.

Zavirima later returned to her homestead in Village 7 where upon arrival she put mixed dried vegetables with the milk after which she served the food to eight people at around 7 PM. One of the children however, refused to eat the relish while Dhambarara who had arrived also refused saying he had eaten at his main homestead.


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