Elephants attack shrine, kill congregant during night prayers

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

Binga: A herd of elephants descended on a Binga Johanne Masowe Apostolic Church shrine and killed a female church member while also sending the rest of the worshippers scurrying in all directions.

The worshippers were conducting night prayers in Siabua, Binga last week Friday.

The now deceased Saria Muzamba, aged 77, of Sinamsanga village under Chief Siabua tripped and fell as the elephants descended on the shrine around 2am.

They trampled her to death, while other congregants fled in different directions into the cover of darkness.

Police and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority confirmed the death of Muzamba.

“On 11 September at around 2am Saria Muzamba and other eight members of Johanne Masowe apostolic church were sleeping in a bushy area near Sinamansanga Secondary School where they were holding a night prayer service.

“A herd of elephants came and attacked the congregants who ran away in different directions,” said the police.

Muzamba allegedly fell down and was trampled by the elephants and died on the spot.

After a while, other church members slowly came back to the scene and found Muzamba already dead with bruises on the face and chest.

Police and Zimparks rangers attended the scene and retrieved the body.

Binga magistrate Urgent Vundla waived postmortem as no foul play was suspected.

The incident came two days after a village head Colly Ndlovu (52), of Insuza, Umguza district was also trampled by elephants on 9 September as human, wildlife conflict cases continue to escalate.

Several cases of people being trampled by elephants have been recorded especially in Hwange district.