TWO children were killed in Buhera on Thursday and three others were seriously injured while playing with a metal “rocket-shaped” object that exploded.
Five-year-old cousins Ozil Chipadza and Tivakudzeishe Chipadza of Chipadza village under Chief Nyashanu, died on the spot while Dessy Chipadza (10), Listen Muforo (11) and Isabel Muzombi (10) were seriously injured.
A similar metal object was yesterday found in the same village and police safely secured it to allow explosives experts from the military to ascertain its type and to compile a report on the blast.
Even 40 years after the liberation war ended, odd pieces of ordinance are still occasionally discovered every now and then and kill when handled.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said on Thursday morning, “Tracey Murove (40), sent her daughter Dessy to drive home their goats and along the way, Dessy picked an unidentified object with a rocket shape and brought it home.
“She went to fetch water from a nearby well in the company of Listen and Isabel. In the afternoon, Ozil and Tivakudze started playing with the object around the yard and their mother ordered them to throw the object away. As the children took the object away, it exploded, prompting the mother to rush outside to investigate. She saw the body of Tivakudzeishe with one leg dismembered. A few metres away, Ozil’s body was also found.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said the survivors — Listen, Dessy and Isabel — were found lying on the ground, bleeding profusely. “The bodies were taken to Murambinda Hospital mortuary while the injured were rushed to Birchenough Bridge Hospital.
“It is a sad incident and we urge parents and guardians to educate children not to pick and play with suspicious objects which they would have come across. Investigations into the incident are being conducted.”
Buhera South legislator Cde Joseph Chinotimba said the children intended to sell the object to local school teachers who are in the business of buying and selling scrap metal.
Cde Chinotimba said police secured the second object which was found by villagers.
“There are reports that one of the teachers at Murove Primary School had asked children to bring scrap metal for a fee.”
Cde Chinotimba said he had since assisted the bereaved families with food for the funerals.
He appealed to parents and guardians to report to police any unknown and suspicious objects.
In a related incident, a Banket man was injured and lost property when a metal object, suspected to be from a rocket launcher, exploded. He was trying to cut it into smaller pieces after picking it up in the bush.
“The man did not realise that it was an explosive and decided to break it for scrap metal. The public is warned against tampering with objects which they are not familiar with as this may put their lives and that of others in danger,” Ass Comm Nyathi said.