3 girls die after eating poisonous mushrooms Asst Comm Nyathi

Crime Reporter

THREE girls died while two others are seriously ill after eating poisonous wild mushrooms.

The incident occurred last Saturday in Chivhu.

All five girls were rushed to hospital in Harare, but three died in hospital.

Police said they only learnt about the incident through the media, but have opened a formal investigation.

The three deceased girls have been identified as Prudence Mhangami (12), Leona Zarura (two years, eight months) and Mazvita Taderera (one-year, eight months) of Village 10 Magamba, Chivhu. Tatenda Mhangami (nine) and Tendai Mhangami (seven) survived after being treated at Sally Mugabe Hospital in Harare.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed that investigations are now in progress.

“The police got to know about this sad incident through the media as the relatives had not bothered to report.

“Prudence Mhangami died on 14 January 2023 whilst admitted at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, while Leona Zarura and Mazvita Taderera died upon admission at Sally Mugabe Hospital,” he said.

Asst Comm Nyathi said a post-mortem conducted on the bodies of Mazvita Taderera and Leona Zarura concluded that death was due to mushroom poisoning, while a post-mortem report for Prudence Mhangami is yet to be received.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is concerned that Prudence Mhangami’s relatives intended to bury her without a post-mortem being conducted, as such the police had no option, but to stop the burial process to allow the post-mortem to be conducted.

“Investigations carried out by the police have established that on January 10, the victims, who were staying with their grandparents, consumed some mushrooms which were picked by Prudence Mhangami from a neighbouring homestead, despite her grandfather warning her against cooking the mushrooms. The Zimbabwe Republic Police implores parents and guardians to monitor the food being consumed by children in order to safeguard their lives,” he said.

Asst Comm Nyathi said the public should not pick wild mushrooms indiscriminately without due regard for safety.

“We urge traditional leaders, school authorities and communities to educate both adults and the youths on the dangers of picking mushrooms in bushes. In view of this unfortunate incident, the police urges the public to be cautious with mushroom vendors who offer wares along street corners and highways”.

Meanwhile, police have reported another fatal accident in Mainway Meadows, Waterfalls on Tuesday, where a 24-year-old man died on the spot while his two assistants, aged 31 and 24, were seriously injured after a wall of a house which they were renovating fell on them resulting in the victims getting trapped.

In another case, a 45-year-old Mutawatawa man died in an inferno after an explosion suspected to have been caused by a gas refrigerator in his grocery shop at Dindi Business Centre on Monday.

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