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Bulawayo woman survives crocodile attack by punching its nose

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BY EZRA TSHISA SIBANDA

A 53-year-old Bulawayo woman says she escaped from the jaws of a crocodile in Kana River, Matabeleland North, by punching its nose while appealing for divine intervention.

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Tholiwe Moyo, who was in company of her sister and two other villagers, were attempting to cross the flooded river recently when she was bitten by the crocodile, which tried to drown her.

The mother of five children fought the reptile off after recalling some childhood advice from village elders that one has to hit it on the nose to scare it. That saved her life.

Moyo, currently in a stable condition at Mpilo General Hospital in Bulawayo is nursing serious injuries on her hands, legs and other parts of the body.

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“The crocodile attacked me when I was crossing the river with some villagers, who included my 72-year-old sister,” she said.

At first we all thought that someone was throwing stones at us but realized within a minute or so that something had a tight grip on my body.

“ I then realized that it was a crocodile trying to pull me to the deepest part of that section of the river. I screamed for divine intervention.

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“While the crocodile was trying to drag me, I recalled what elders related to us when I was growing up.

“We were told that if you punch the crocodile on its nose, it will let you go. I did exactly that while it tried to drown me. I punched it several times on its nose.”

She says the crocodile tried to kill her. “It broke my arm, bit my legs and buttocks and other parts of my body.

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“I was also determined to live. So, I punched it hard while screaming for help. It finally let me off.

“ I then crawled towards the banks of the river and my sister and others pulled me to safety.

“By that time, they were carrying sticks and other objects they could lay their hands on in order to push it off.”

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The crocodile was not done yet as it attacked, killed and ate the family’s dog, which was trying to swim to safety too.

“It’s sad that our dog is gone but I’m happy that I survived.”

Moyo is in serious pain. “The crocodile wanted to bite my hand off. The left hand is not functioning well as of now.

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“My left leg is also seriously injured and the right leg up to my buttocks it’s in bad shape.

“I’m happy that my councillors, Member of Parliament, women’s groups and others have visited me here to show their sympathy and support. I appreciate it a lot. They gave me a lot of fruits.”

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing heavy rains and conservation groups are warning that the rains and flooded rivers have resulted in crocodiles turning up in places where they are least expected.

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Late last year, Majaha Ndlovu of Silobela was attacked and eaten by a crocodile while he was fishing with his son, Siphatho Ndlovu.

Siphatho will never forget this day. “We were fishing along Gwelu River when my father dropped his hat and tried to retrieve it from the river.

“All of a sudden a crocodile attacked him and drowned him. The only thing I saw thereafter were pools of blood on the water surface,

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“That was the last time I saw my father alive. He was attacked and eaten by that reptile.

“I tried to cry for help while it was attacking him but there was nobody in sight to assist him.

“That pains me a lot and it haunts me. I remember him screaming for help but I could not save him. He died a very painful death.”

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National Parks and Wildlife Management authorities say crocodiles are killing people more than any animal, including elephants. – VOA

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Supporting those who served: MPs debate war veterans’ benefits

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Image: Parliament of Zimbabwe

BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI

The children of Zimbabwe’s war veterans are crying out for help, and it’s time we answer,” said Tendai Pinduka, sparking a passionate debate in the National Assembly. The recent discussion was prompted by a petition from the Children of War Veterans and Heroes Dependents Forum, which called for economic empowerment and support for war veterans and their families.

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As the Members of Parliament (MPs) shared their personal experiences and concerns, the room was filled with emotion. “We need to honour our heroes and recognize their sacrifices,” said Madron Matiza, citing the Bible’s teaching that “those who have worked deserve to be given food.” He urged his fellow MPs to listen to the voices of war veterans and support their ideas and contributions.

Susan Matsunga, a child of a war veteran herself, shared her painful experiences and called for action.

“We need to implement plans to support war veterans and their children, including access to education, healthcare, and economic empowerment. We owe it to them.”

The MPs emphasized the importance of amending the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act to consider children of war veterans seeking further education beyond the age of 18. Others stressed that the Constitution and the Act guarantee the rights and benefits of veterans of the liberation struggle and their dependents.

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“We need to fully fund the War Veterans Fund to support their welfare and economic empowerment,” he said Kudakwashe Mananzva added, “This is not just about benefits; it’s about honouring the sacrifices of our parents.”

As the debate came to a close, Desire Nkala summarized the MPs’ sentiments: “We must support war veterans and their children, particularly in education, healthcare, and economic empowerment. We must implement the War Veterans Act and consider all who contributed to the liberation struggle.”

The National Assembly’s debate sent a clear message: Zimbabwe’s war veterans and their families deserve recognition, support, and empowerment. As Pinduka said, “We must answer the cry for help from our heroes’ children.”

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Health ministry grapples with malaria, diarrhea, and dog bite cases

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BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI 

According to the latest Disease Surveillance Report released by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Zimbabwe, the country is facing a significant burden of three major health issues: malaria, common diarrhea, and dog bites.

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Malaria cases on the rise

In the week ending July 7, 2024, Zimbabwe reported 476 new malaria cases and two deaths. The majority of the cases (79) were children under the age of five. Mashonaland Central and Manicaland provinces were the hardest hit, with 205 and 118 cases, respectively. Cumulatively, the country has recorded 31,757 malaria cases and 57 deaths.

Diarrhea cases continue to soar

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The report also indicates that 6,520 common diarrhea cases and two deaths were reported in the same week. The deaths occurred in Harare Province and Mbire District in Mashonaland Central Province. Children under five accounted for 2,930 of the reported cases. Mashonaland West and Mashonaland East provinces reported the highest number of cases, with 933 and 930 cases, respectively. Cumulatively, Zimbabwe has recorded 175,551 diarrhea cases and 60 deaths.

Dog bites on the increase

Furthermore, 486 dog bite cases were reported, with no fatalities. Notably, 104 of the cases involved bites from vaccinated dogs, while 115 involved unvaccinated dogs, and 266 involved dogs of unknown status. Masvingo Province and Mashonaland East Province reported the highest number of dog bite cases, with 82 and 81 cases, respectively. Cumulatively, the country has recorded 14,093 dog bite cases.

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The Ministry of Health and Child Care urges citizens to take preventive measures to mitigate the spread of these diseases.

For malaria, this includes using insecticide-treated bed nets, wearing protective clothing, and eliminating breeding sites for mosquitoes.

To prevent diarrhea, the ministry recommends practicing good hygiene, drinking clean water, and seeking medical attention if symptoms persist.

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Regarding dog bites, the ministry advises people to avoid stray dogs, ensure their pets are vaccinated, and seek medical attention immediately if bitten.

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Lupane man (23) on the run for brutal murder of 84-year-old granny

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BY STAFF REPORTER

Police in Lupane are hunting for a 23–year-old man who is being sought for murdering his 84-year-old grandmother on unknown circumstances.

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The suspect, Logic Nyathi, allegedly murdered Lucy Sibanda of Mlonyeni village, on Friday around 3PM.

According to the police statement, the deceased’s daughter, Simangele Sibanda, had been trying to reach her mother by phone but was unsuccessful. She then asked Zamani Vundla, a neighbor, to check on her mother. Upon arrival, Vundla discovered the deceased’s lifeless body in a pool of blood, with deep cuts on her head and neck.

The police investigation revealed that the deceased was sitting on the sofa, holding a knife, and had been eating an orange half-cut on the dining table.

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Blood stains were found outside the room, indicating a struggle and she had also been axed multiple times on head, the neck and the back.

Police said the murder weapon has not been recovered, and  Nyathi remains at large.

“The body of the deceased was taken to St Lukes hospital mortuary awaiting post mortem examination, the investigations are still underway.” the report read.

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Meanwhile, Lupane police have dismissed the social media claims that the fugitive had been found in a bush after committing suicide.

 

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