Mushroom poisoning kills three girls
Harare (New Ziana) – Three girls from Chivhu died after eating poisoned mushroom sometime last week, police said on Thursday.
In statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations established that on 10th January 2023 the victims, who were staying with their grandparents, consumed some mushrooms which were picked by Prudence Mhangami from a neighbouring homestead, despite her grandfather warning her against cooking the mushrooms.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is investigating the circumstances in which three girls, Prudence Mhangami (12), Leona Zarura (2years 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 postmortem conducted on the bodies of Mazvita Taderera and Leona Zarura concluded that death was due to mushroom poisoning, while postmortem 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 postmortem being conducted, as such the police had no option but to stop the burial process to allow the postmortem to be conducted.
“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,” he said.
Nyathi also cautioned the public to avoid buying mushrooms from questionable places.
“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.