FOUR people were seriously injured last week when a device found by a child in the bush exploded at a homestead in Tsholotsho.
The four were rushed to Tsholotsho Hospital where they are receiving treatment.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police were still to establish just what had exploded. A 13-year-old boy picked up the metal object from a nearby bush thinking it was toy and it exploded while he was holding it at his parents’ home in Gotshane Village, Chief Mahlathini.
This is not the first time that people have either been killed or injured following an explosion, usually from ordinance left over from the liberation war.
Even 40 years after the end of the conflict that led to Zimbabwe’s independence, leftover ordinance sometimes turn up. In this Zimbabwe is not unusual.
Farmers in eastern France and southern Belgium still come across the odd unexploded shell from the First World War more than a century ago when these come to the surface as a result of normal earth movement and erosion and unexploded bombs from the Second World War turn up now and again in European cities, especially during new construction.
In March 2014, a welder was killed in Harare’s Sunningdale suburb by an 80mm mortar bomb. The bomb was brought to him by four people travelling in a Pajero Mini that was parked a few metres way from the now late Moses Mudefi’s house along Second Street.
The three people – two men and a woman — approached Mudefi at his workplace with the bomb and offered him US$100 before he used a grinder to grind the device in order to extract a mercury compound used in the detonator.
In January 2013, a blast killed six people in Chitungwiza and destroyed 12 houses and investigations pointed to the use of explosives. Police believed that the blast was caused by an anti-tank landmine with speculation in the area that a traditional healer and his clients were trying to extract the detonator.