Monday, 2 July 2018


ONE person died while his brother is admitted in hospital after they allegedly drank a suspected poisonous liquid they thought was red wine.

The Chronicle learnt that a group of curio vendors who operate at Thokozani Co-operative Market in Victoria Falls consumed the liquid.

Other vendors at the nearby Busy Island and Sinathankawu curio markets also drank the liquid while some took it home in small containers where they shared it with friends. Mr Freedom Sibanda of Mkhosana suburb, who operates at Thokozani Market, is still admitted to Victoria Falls District Hospital.

His brother Mbongeni died two days ago after allegedly drinking the substance which was red in colour, according to the description given by the vendors. Mbongeni had visited from the rural areas and shared the drink with his brother last week on Wednesday.

The two brothers were admitted the following day after complaining of stomach pains as well as vomiting. Hwange District Medical Officer Dr Wisdom Kurauone said samples of the liquid had been taken for testing.
“We have such people who were admitted and we took samples of the liquid for tests so that we establish what it is,” he said. Results are not yet out. No report was made to the police.
A news crew visited the market on Saturday morning where the vendors narrated their experiences.
They said some of their colleagues have not been going to the market for the past week as they are not feeling well.

A few have gone to the hospital where they were referred to a private hospital to do some blood, kidney and liver tests which they said they have failed to do because they don’t have $68 needed for the process.

“We were near the gate when a gardener at the lodge showed us a container with beer. He said it had been left by some tourists but he had failed to drink it as it tasted funny.

“We took it and brought it to our shop where almost everyone sipped. People shared in smaller containers and took it home because we thought the beer had not matured and needed to be kept in a fridge. About 60 people could have shared the liquid,” said Mr Shelton Ndlovu, one of the vendors.

Mr Fiselani Ndlovu (34) said he was struggling to walk but has no money to do the tests.
“I feel like my colon is being pulled out and I can’t walk properly. I don’t have money for kidney and liver tests which they said I should do,” he said.

Mr Gift Nyathi (33) of Chinotimba’s NRZ section said: “I became very weak but thought the beer was too strong. I then bought opaque beer and mixed but I became dizzy and vomited the whole day. I went to the clinic and they gave me tablets thinking it was malaria. Later on when there was no improvement they told me to do some tests which I haven’t done because I don’t have money. Right now I feel continuous pain and cramps in the stomach,” he said.

Mr Vusumuzi Ngwenya (32) said he vomited and went to hospital feeling dizzy and weak in the joints. Thokozani Curio Market chair Mr Mandlenkosi Sibanda appealed to government to chip in and help his colleagues.

“We fear people might die because none of them has money. Some have not been coming to work for the past one week and it’s our wish that the hospital can allow them to be treated and then make payment plans because this could be drastic considering that one person has died,” he said.
Mr Sibanda said business was low hence the co-operative does not have money to help its members. Chronicle


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