Family loses 9 members in three weeks

Conrad Mupesa 

Mashonaland West Bureau 

Nine members of the Mapuranga family in Nyamakate under village 25, in Hurungwe, have died over the past three weeks and while all nine complained of a sore throat before dying. The family’s religious beliefs prevent  them from seeking medical help or advice.

However the local chief, Chief Chundu Mr Abel Mbasera, has now called in the Minsitry of Health and Child Care and has condemned beliefs that bar followers access to medical care.

On Sunday, the latest death of three-year-old Ropafadzo Mapuranga, a grandchild to the family occurred. The mother of the late Blessing Nyanyiwa, daughter-in-law to the Mapurangas also died recently.

No post-mortems were conducted on the deceased.

Family spokesperson, Mr Luke Mapuranga yesterday could not comment on the  trail of deaths. “We are requesting for a moment as we are still grieving,” he said in a voice note.

Village headman, Mr Agrippa Mapisaunga said the community was still in shock.

Chief Chundu, Mr Abel Mbasera in under whose purview the village falls, confirmed the sad developments

He has since engaged the Ministry of Health and Child Care to intervene.

“I want to condemn the acts by other churches that deny congregates the right to health which is prescribed in the country’s constitution. As traditional chiefs, we are against this. If a church is not able to give health solutions, it should allow its people to seek medical assistance,” he said. 

Added Chief Chundu: “The fact that the nine members of the same family died due to the same disease, is a sign that it is curable.”

He has since criminalised the act by communities failing to seek scientific medical help.

Provincial medical director, Dr Celestino Dhege was yet to give a statement on the said deaths and what could be behind the deaths.

The strong religious beliefs have also claimed the lives of Zvimba family members recently who perished to cholera. 

While the government made efforts to combat the spread, health officials were reportedly physically attacked by the family members.

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