Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A woman (58) from Lukange community in Beitbridge East was trampled to death by an elephant while two other villagers watched helplessly on Saturday morning.
Elisa Chivalaula died while harvesting mopani worms (mashonzha/amacimbi) in a bushy area near Dite. She was in the company of Ouma Moyo (36) and Selina Ndou (70).
It is reported that the women got into trouble after running into a herd of elephants.
The police officer commanding Beitbridge District Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo said the matter was being treated as sudden death.
“Indications are that on Saturday, 28 March, she left her homestead intending to go and harvest mopane worms in a bush about 7km from her homestead in the company of Ouma Moyo (36) and Selina Ndou (70) both from the same village,” he said.
“While harvesting the mopani worms they found themselves in the midst of a herd of elephants and prompting them to run away in different directions.
“Unfortunately, one elephant caught up with the now deceased and trampled her to death in full view of Ndou who was hiding behind the bushes”.
The matter was reported at the ZRP Dite Police Base leading to the recovery of the badly injured body. No foul play was suspected and post mortem was waived by a local magistrate.
“As police we urge people to be highly vigilant as they move around in the bushes, especially during the time of harvesting these mopani worms. Precious lives are lost as a result of fatal attacks by wild animals and snakes,” said Chief Supt Nyongo.
The incident occured a few months after a six-year-old boy from Chituripasi in Beitbridge East was attacked and killed by an elephant while his sister watched helplessly. The boy was coming from school in the company of his elder sister and another minor when they came across the jumbo.
The elder sister fled to the other side of the road while the now deceased tried to flee to the nearest homestead, resulting in him being fatally attacked.