Ngomahuru mentally ill patient killed by crocodile

George Maponga in Masvingo


One of the two mental patients, who escaped from Ngomahuru Psychiatric Hospital has been attacked and killed by a crocodile while trying to cross the flooded Tugwi River in Mupindi communal lands, Chivi.


Courage Matsaru (27) of Nemauzhe in Chivi was allegedly heard calling for help by villagers who rushed to the river only to watch helplessly as he was attacked and dragged to the deeper waters by the deadly reptile.


Mutsaru had escaped from Ngomahuru Psychiatric Hospital together with another mental patient Kudakwashe Gomwe (26) of Harare.


The two were clad in hosptal garb when they escaped from the the institution around 6pm early this week.


According to the police, hospital staff only noticed that the two were missing during the time for giving inmates their medication before retiring to bed.


Villagers in Mbeva responded to a distress call for help about 30 minutes after the pair had escaped from Ngomahuru only to see Mutsaru battling to free himself from the jaws of a crocodile in the flooded Tugwi River.


Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa said villagers saw a crocodile attacking Mutsaru before dragging him to deep waters where he disappeared.


Only a short which makes part of the hospital uniform was recovered from the river.


Inspector Dhewa said police suspect Mutsaru was killed by the crocodile saying they were treating the case as that of a missing person.


He said investigations were underway to establish what actually transpired.


Tugwi Riverr is currently flooded following heavy rains that have caused Tugwi-Mukosi Dam downstream of Ngomahuru Hospital to spill for the second successive year running.

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