Tragic lightning strikes claim two lives in Zimbabwe
Last week, two individuals fell victim to fatal lightning strikes in separate incidents, leaving the communities of Dotito and Siyalima in mourning.
The first incident occurred on February 7, 2024, when 13-year-old Pardon Nyamhondera was making his way home from Siyalima Primary School in Siyalima. As rain began to fall, he sought shelter in a tobacco barn. Moments later, 15-year-old Wayne Kachuta joined him in the shed. Tragically, a bolt of lightning struck the shed, causing Pardon to collapse. Wayne quickly fled and informed Pardon’s mother, Rhoda Nyaurundu, about the horrifying incident. Despite the efforts of those who rushed to the scene and attempted to administer first aid, Pardon succumbed to his burns. The incident was reported to the Ruyamuro police base.
The following day, in Dotito, Penias Kausiwo (41) was working in his tobacco field accompanied by his family. As rain intensified, Kausiwo instructed his family to seek shelter while he went to his friend’s nearby field. As they hurried towards the house due to the heavy downpour, tragedy struck. Both Kausiwo and his friend, Brian Mukati, were struck by lightning, causing them to collapse. Mukati regained consciousness and rushed home to gather assistance. However, when help arrived, they discovered that Kausiwo had already succumbed to his injuries, his body covered in burns.
Inspector Milton Mundembe, the provincial police spokesperson, expressed his condolences and urged caution during thunderstorms. He advised people to stay indoors when it starts raining, to leave fields and open workspaces, and to avoid using cell phones or televisions during thunderstorms. Seeking refuge under large trees or structures was strongly discouraged to prevent further tragedies.