Kiyapili Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
A 94-YEAR-OLD man died after allegedly eating hot chilli at a memorial service in Old Luveve, Bulawayo, on Saturday.
Charlie Tembo was found dead by children in a toilet with a swollen stomach after he rushed into the facility to relieve himself, soon after ingesting the chilli. He was also frothing from the mouth. The children alerted elders who called an ambulance and the police who came after about three hours.
Tembo’s family declined to speak to the Press, saying it was too early after his death.
A resident Mr Dunstan Mapuma who was attending the memorial service said the deceased shared a plate of isitshwala with a man called Mr Mpala.
“Tembo asked for chillies from Mpala and he sprinkled it liberally over the food. After the meal he rushed to the toilet. Children then came informing us that Tembo had died while sitting on the toilet seat,” said Mr Mapuma.
He told Chronicle that Tembo’s grandson who is a nurse was called and he tried in vain to resuscitate him.
Mr Mapuma said Tembo was suffering from high blood pressure.
“His grandson tried to resuscitate him but he was dead already. Mr Tembo, we are told, was suffering from BP and we are waiting for the post-mortem to reveal the cause of the death,” he said.
Residents said they were shocked by the incident.
They said this kind of death was not common.
“I’m shocked about Tembo’s sudden death. I was with him early in the morning when he was going to the fields. I don’t know what happened to him but all I can say is that I am shocked,” said one of the residents.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Precious Simango said she was not aware of incident as she was out of the city.
“I’m in Harare. Contact Assistant Inspector Chipfunde,” she said.
Asst Insp Chipfunde said he would comment in an hour.
He was not reachable by the time of going to Press.