ZIMBABWE – Three brothers from a family in Hurungwe died within two days after complaining of severe headaches and vomitting profusely, while their sister survived after showing the same symptoms.
The first to die on Monday was Ramsey Mereki (8) who complained of a splitting headache and later started vomitting and frothing on the mouth.
His brother MacDonnely (13), who went to inform elders about his young brother’s deteriorating condition, started experiencing similar symptoms at around 9am on Tuesday and died about eight hours later.
The other brother Clive (19) and sister MacLean (16) also started complaining of the same symptoms and were taken to Chidamoyo Hospital.
The two were tested for malaria and food poisoning and the results were negative.
The children’s mother Ms Lindiwe Magaya was the first to vomit and complain of a headache, but her condition did not warrant medical attention.
As the mourners were leaving the family shrine on Tuesday after burying Ramsey, they received news that Clive had died at the hosptial, while MacLean was in a stable condition.
Narrating the tragedy, the brothers’ father Mr Two Mereki said the loss of his children was still a mystery which will take him time to understand.
“I am still at a loss of words to explain how three of my children can be lost in a space of two days,” he said. “This must be witchcraft at play.”
The family initially thought that the brothers had died from food poisoning, but the suspicion was dismissed at the hospital after the tests proved negative.
Mr Mereki is employed by the District Development Fund and stationed at Chivende base camp.
Mr Mereki’s twin brother, One, said the family heavily suspected witchcraft to be the cause of death.