Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
BULAWAYO Provincial Handball Association chairperson Samuel Shereni was among the 12 Luveve residents that died from diarrhoea.
Government blamed the outbreak on the city’s 144-hour water shedding exercise, which has forced residents to turn to unprotected water sources, and vandalism of sewerage pipes.
Over 1 500 Luveve residents have fallen ill after drinking the suburb’s tap water.
Shereni died on Friday night after being admitted to a local hospital and was buried yesterday at Athlone Cemetery.
He was 51.
“The Bulawayo sports fraternity lost one of its humble, but hardworking provincial sports association chairman for handball, Shereni. He died after being ill as a result of drinking tap water at his Old Luveve home.
He will be sadly missed by many for his role in the development of handball in this part of the country,” said the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) co-ordinator for Bulawayo Metropolitan province Sam Dzvimbu.
A number of sports administrators in the City, including representatives from the National Association of Primary School Heads (Naph) and their secondary counterparts expressed shock and sorrow at the untimely death of Shereni, who was also an executive of an insurance company.
Our Sister publication, the Sunday News, reported that tests done at private laboratories to ascertain the cause of the 12 deaths and more than 1 500 illnesses revealed that they suffered from typhoid and dysentery.
The results came after the Bulawayo City Council initially said patients suffered from gastrointestinal diseases, which is a broad term referring to diseases involving the gastrointestinal tract like oesophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, rectum and the accessory organs of digestion.
City Health director Edwin Ndlovu said stool tests done at Cimas laboratory came out positive for salmonella typh, the bacteria that causes typhoid and shigella, which causes dysentery.
He said council initially did random sampling of testing one in five, but as the number of cases grew, they resorted to only collecting one in 20 infected people.
The Luveve water infection also first claimed the life a Form 4 learner at Emakhandeni Secondary School.