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Published On: Tue, Aug 30th, 2016

Woman dies after drinking herbal concoction

A WOMAN from Jotsholo died allegedly after drinking a herbal concoction that an inyanga prescribed to cure an undisclosed ailment.

Charity Mpala (23) of Silenje’s Homestead under Chief Mabhikwa vomited and died minutes after drinking the concoction at about 10AM on Thursday last week.

Police officers investigating the matter took the concoction for laboratory testing before ferrying Mpala’s body to the United Bulawayo Hospitals for postmortem.

The postmortem results state that Mpala suffered pancreas haemorrhage. Matabeleland North provincial acting police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Eglon Nkala confirmed receiving a report of sudden death.

“I can confirm that we received a report of sudden death of a woman who died after taking traditional medication. Investigations are in progress to ascertain the cause of death,” he said.

It is alleged that Mpala visited the inyanga, Mr Vusumuzi Sibanda, who heals people by combining traditional methods and biblical prayer, at around 9AM last Thursday. A neighbour who preferred anonymity said: “She had been complaining of feeling something in her stomach which seemed to be moving and causing her pain. Charity asked for a concoction which would make her vomit to remove the thing from her stomach.

“Sibanda made her a concoction which had a number of ingredients and a large amount of vinegar. Moments after drinking it, she started vomiting but they thought it was just an upset stomach. When the vomiting persisted, with her condition immediately deteriorating, he called neighbours who ferried her to the clinic in a scotch cart. She died before they arrived at the clinic.”

A police source has revealed that there was even more drama when police were returning from Bulawayo for postmortem. “The police vehicle had a breakdown along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road and they towed the car to Insuza police station. Realising that it would probably take longer to fix the car, police communicated with the family to come and pick up the body. The family instead told them to contact the inyanga who they said was going to bury the deceased,” said the source.

The police source said they got in touch with the inyanga and he said he could not afford to move the body as he only had two goats between him and poverty.

“The now decomposing body was kept at the police station until Friday evening at around 7PM. They left Insuza for Jotsholo that evening with the body.”

Chief Mabhikwa encouraged villagers to prioritise doing medical check-ups in hospitals.

“This can help in avoiding disputes where people point fingers at each other. This woman may probably have been treated successfully at a medical facility,” said Chief Mabhikwa. — Chronicle