Light­ning kills man, 3 don­keys

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Whins­ley Masara

A MAN and three don­keys died after they were struck by light­ning in two in­ci­dents in Mata­bele­land North.

A bolt of light­ning fa­tally struck Charles Maponda (32) of Nya­mandlovu in Umguza Dis­trict while he was look­ing for fire­wood in a bush on Tues­day.

Maponda, a re­cently pro­moted farm em­ployee at Waynne Man­roe’s Farm, knocked off duty and left alone to fetch fire­wood in the bush.

Mr Robert Mu­thethwa, who is a se­cu­rity guard at the Farm, dis­cov­ered the badly burnt body min­utes after he had been struck.

“It started to rain and there was thun­der and light­ning. I found Maponda in an open space. It looked like he had just been struck by light­ning.

“He had sus­tained se­ri­ous burns on his right foot, right thigh and fore­head. His clothes and the gum­boots that he wore had been burnt too,” he said.

Mr Mu­thethwa said he in­formed other farm work­ers who re­ported the mat­ter to the po­lice and the body was con­veyed to the United Bu­l­awayo Hos­pi­tals (UBH) for post­mortem.

Mean­while, Mr Ephraim Ng­wenya (32) of Ngonyama Vil­lage, ward 3 in Tsholot­sho also lost three don­keys after light­ning struck them in his gar­den. He told The Chron­i­cle that he was still in shock. “It’s like they had been set alight. We saw the light­ning strike once and we saw smoke come from the gar­den. The don­keys died.

“I, how­ever thank the Lord that my fam­ily re­mained safe in­doors. One can never avoid such in­ci­dents whether in­doors or out­side. We pray for pro­tec­tion and the safety of hu­man lives dur­ing this rainy sea­son,” said Mr Ng­wenya.

Vil­lage head John­son Ncube of Ng­amo vil­lage urged vil­lagers to stay calm in­doors dur­ing the rainy sea­son, which has just started.

“It is scary to think th­ese are the first rains and they have al­ready killed hu­mans and live­stock.

“Peo­ple shouldn’t stand un­der trees when it’s rain­ing and they should in­stall tall cop­per poles in their home­steads to di­vert the light­ning bolts,” he said.

Mata­bele­land North po­lice spokesper­son Sergeant Na­mati­rai Mashona could not be reached for com­ment. -@win­nie-masara

A ba­boon sits un­der a tree as tem­per­a­tures rise in Gwanda ahead of the rainy sea­son. The an­i­mals have also be­come a men­ace to res­i­dents as they in­vade homes in search of food. (Pic­ture by Eliah Saushoma)

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