By James Muonwa I Mashonaland West Correspondent
THREE members of a Hurungwe family succumbed to poisoning after they were struck by a venomous snake suspected to be a Black Mamba, while foraging for firewood.
The bizarre incident occurred in the Karuru area of Hurungwe district a fortnight ago, but the trio died between Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
The deceased have been identified as Emilia Musiiwa (nee Moyo) aged 47, her daughter Nyarai (21) and grandson Tatenda Tototo (15).
The late Emilia’s husband, Tapiwa Musiiwa told NewZimbabwe.com the deaths dealt him a heavy blow.
“The incident has left me devastated,” he said.
“The three were looking for firewood when the snake bit Nyarai, prompting her mother to try and scare away the creature but it also attacked her,” he narrated.
“Sensing danger, our grandson Tatenda tried to run away but the snake pursued him and striked.
“The three victims were taken to hospital for treatment, but unfortunately the boy died at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital yesterday (Tuesday) while my wife and daughter passed on at Sally Mugabe Hospital (formerly Harare Hospital) in Harare today (Wednesday),” said a distraught Musiiwa.
Touched by the family’s plight, a local funeral parlour pledged to ferry the bodies to Karuru Ward 8, Hurungwe for burial Thursday.
The deaths due to snake attacks exposes the lack of anti-venom medicines at health institutions across the country.
Black mambas are known for their large size, quickness and extremely potent venom and considered one of the continent’s most dangerous snakes.