A 38-YEAR-OLD man from Emthunzini suburb in Bulawayo died in his sleep following a beer drinking spree after going to bed having said he had been involved in a fight while three family members died and eight others are battling for their lives at Mpilo Central Hospital after they allegedly consumed poisonous mushrooms in Mberengwa.
Police are suspecting foul play in the Emthunzini incident while Chief Ngungumbane of Mberengwa confirmed the poisoning incident which happened yesterday morning but said he did not have the finer details.
“I heard about the death of three family members from Mberengwa while eight other family members who are said to be critically ill were taken to Masase Mission Hospital before they were taken to Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo for treatment,” he said.
Acting Bulawayo Provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the Emthunzini incident.
He said police were suspecting foul play in the death of Maxwell Vhore who passed away in his sleep at around 1AM on Wednesday, minutes after arriving home.
Asst Insp Ncube said Vhore was pronounced dead upon the arrival of an ambulance.
“I can confirm that we are investigating a sudden death of a man from Emthunzini suburb who is suspected to have been involved in a misunderstanding with some people when he was from a beer drink,” he said.
“We are waiting for post-mortem results to confirm the cause of death but under such circumstances, we suspect foul play.”
Vhore allegedly experienced breathing difficulties while sleeping and was pronounced dead upon the arrival of an ambulance, which his wife, Ms Sithabile Makombe, had called.
The deceased’s wife is alleged to have tied his legs with the help of her stepson to stop him from going outside after he said he wanted to go back where he had been to fight back.
Ms Makombe said her husband came home drunk, carrying a stone and a beer bottle, saying he wanted to kill some men he had been fighting outside.
“He left home on Tuesday morning and came back drunk at midnight. He was shouting and uttering insults. He said I shouldn’t close the door because he wanted to go and kill men who had fought with him. My son and I tried restraining him but he assaulted us. We managed to overpower him and tied his legs to prevent him from going anywhere,” she said.
“We went to sleep and he was snoring but after some minutes I realised he had stopped snoring. I woke up to check on him and realised that he was breathing heavily. At first I thought he was too drunk but it got worse so I called our co-tenant, who advised me to call an ambulance. After attending to him for a few minutes, paramedics told me he was dead and there was nothing they could do.”
Meanwhile, the village head of Tarusarira in Mberengwa West, Mr Simbarashe Moyo, said he had learnt with great shock of the passing away of three family members from his area and the admission of the other eight in hospital after consuming poisonous mushrooms.
“I confirm receiving news that three members of the same family passed on this morning (yesterday) after consuming poisonous mushrooms. Eight other family members were left ill and were taken to Masase Mission Hospital before they were ferried to Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo after their condition deteriorated,” he said.
Headman Moyo, who is the Health Centre Committee (HCC) chairperson for Masase Mission Hospital, said he was not at liberty to disclose the names of the victims since their next kin were still to be notified.
He said eight other family members were ferried to Bulawayo and arrived at Mpilo Hospital at around 4PM for further treatment.