Three minors die after eating poisonous mushrooms

HARARE – Three Chivhu minors died after eating poisonous mushrooms while two others escaped death after receiving treatment at Sally Mugabe Hospital in Harare, police said Thursday.

In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations established that on 10 January 2023, the minors, who were living with their grandparents, ate some mushroom which had been collected from a neighbouring homestead by the now late Prudence Mhangami.

The minor reportedly proceeded to cook the deadly vegetables against some warning by her grandfather.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is investigating the circumstances in which three girls, Prudence Mhangami (12), Leona Zarura (2 years 8 months) and Mazvita Taderera (1 year 8 months) of Village 10 Magamba, Chivhu, died after consuming some mushrooms, while Tatenda Mhangami (9) and Tendai Mhangami (7) survived after being treated at Sally Mugabe Hospital, Harare.

“Prudence Mhangami died on 14th January 2023 whilst admitted at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, while Leona Zarura and Mazvita Taderera died upon admission at Sally Mugabe Hospital.

“The police got to know about this sad incident through the media as the relatives had not bothered to report,” he said.

He said the post-mortem conducted on the bodies of two of the deceased minors concluded that death was due to mushroom poisoning, while a post-mortem report for Prudence Mhangami is yet to be received.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is concerned that Prudence Mhangami’s relatives intended to bury her without a post mortem being conducted; as such the police had no option but to stop the burial process to allow the post mortem to be conducted,” Nyathi said.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police implores parents and guardians to monitor the food being consumed by children in order to safeguard their lives.

“The public should not pick wild mushrooms indiscriminately without due regard for safety.

“We urge traditional leaders, school authorities and communities to educate both adults and the youths on the dangers of picking mushrooms in bushes.”

Nyathi also warned the public against buying mushrooms from questionable sources.

“In view of this unfortunate incident, the police urges the public to be cautious with mushroom vendors who offer wares along street corners and highways,” he said.

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