Rejoyce Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
THREE girls from Village 10 at Magamba in Chivhu died last week on Saturday after eating poisonous mushrooms while two other children who were part of the group survived.
The children, coming from one family are said to have been staying with their grandparents.
The police got to know about the incident through the media as the relatives had not bothered to report it.
The deceased include Prudence Mhangami (12), Leona Zarura (2 years 8 months) and Mazvita Taderera (1 year 8 months).
Tatenda Mhangami (9) and Tendai Mhangami (7) survived after being treated at Sally Mugabe Hospital in Harare.
In a statement, National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said Prudence died while admitted to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals while Leona and Mazvita died upon admission at Sally Mugabe Hospital.
“The post-mortem conducted on the bodies of Mazvita Taderera and Leona Zarura concluded that death was due to mushroom poisoning, while the post-mortem report for Prudence Mhangami is yet to be received,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He said Prudence’s relatives intended to bury her without a post-mortem being conducted and as such the police had no option but to stop the burial.
Asst Comm Nyathi said according to police investigations, last week on Tuesday the victims consumed some mushrooms which were picked by Prudence from a neighboring homestead despite her grandfather warning her against cooking the mushrooms.
“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,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi urged traditional leaders, school authorities and communities to educate both adults and the youths on the dangers of picking mushrooms in bushes.
He also urged the public to be cautious with mushroom vendors who offer wares along street corners and highways.