2 pupils die from strange illnesses
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The two boys, aged 10 and seven, died last week after complaining of strange illnesses.
One of the boys' stomach was reportedly swollen and hardened when he died, which prompted the parents to conclude that he had been bewitched.
Parents and residents of both Mpopoma and Matshobana suburbs now suspect that it could be witchcraft while others suspect the minors could have succumbed to water borne diseases since the school had no running water for more than a week.
Chronicle visited the families of the deceased pupils yesterday where the guardians said they suspected their children died as a result of acts of witchcraft.
The grandmother of the seven-year-old boy said there was no way her grandson could have died as a result of lack of water at school as alleged by other parents.
As soon as the reporter introduced herself to her, the visibly shaken old woman immediately hurled unprintable insults, saying whoever was talking about her grandson's death were the ones responsible for his death.
"My grandson died of an unknown ailment but I do not want to blame the school for what happened because it is not the first time for the school to have no water. My little boy came back home from school and played with his friends but later complained about constipation. We rushed him to the clinic where nurses suspected he had swallowed seeds of wild fruits," she said.
"When we were later referred to Mpilo Central Hospital, the doctor conducted a physical examination and concluded that my grandson was suffering from constipation."
She said the boy's condition deteriorated when they got back home after he had taken the medication prescribed by the doctor.
"When we got back home we did as the doctor had told us but my grandson's condition worsened and he later died at home before we took him back to the hospital.
"I was devastated by my grandson's death but the people who are linking his death to the school do not know what they are talking about. If the school had a problem, I would have approached them. All my children went to this school and I do not want to implicate the authorities just because something bad has happened. Those who are making noise about it are the ones who killed my grandson," said the grandmother.
The mother of the 10-year-old boy said her son died after succumbing to a severe headache.
"My son complained of a headache and we rushed him to Mpilo Central Hospital where he later died. I still do not know what exactly happened to him. I believe it was an act of satanism because the doctors failed to detect the illness and he just died mysteriously," she said.
The death of the pupils has become the talk of the two suburbs as residents give different theories to it.
Some residents have, however, dismissed the claims of witchcraft saying the death of the two pupils at the same time could not have been a coincidence.
They said it could have been caused by unavailability of water at the school as the school authorities allegedly ignored the water bills until the Bulawayo City Council disconnected water supplies.
Pupils were reportedly attending school without any water.
"Why should people say these children were bewitched when everybody knows that the school had no water for more than a week which could have caused waterborne diseases," said a parent on condition of anonymity.
The school head, Mrs Mlazi declined comment and sent some people to say she was busy when visited at her office.
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