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Soldier dies after consuming concoction from sangoma

A soldier from Bulawayo’s New Lobengula suburb died Thursday after allegedly consuming traditional medicine prepared by a ‘well known’ local healer.

The healer resides in Njube suburb.

The deceased, Thabani Dube (55) served in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) as a driver for senior army officials.

The deceased’s brother, Thulani Dube, said the family was still waiting for the post-mortem results to determine the cause of death.

The deceased’s partner, Nonhlanhla Dube, told CITE that on the fateful day, Thabani was well and he carried out his normal home routines and chores.

“Around 9 am, he advised me that he was going to buy some bread and eggs for breakfast and told me to make some potatoes in the meanwhile. At this point, he was still fine and his usual self, as we were chatting like we always do,” she said in an interview.

Dube noted that the now deceased took about 45 minutes for him to return back to the house.

“Upon his return, he handed me the bread and eggs, telling me he was going to the toilet. I did the cooking and after some minutes, I noticed he had stayed unusually long in the toilet.  I went to look for him as the food was ready while also thinking he may have dashed out again,” she said.

After calling out his name and receiving no response, Dube was shocked to find him lying on the toilet floor.

“I tried to wake him but he was not responding. He was also frothing from the mouth. When I failed to wake him up, I called out to the neighbours, who rushed to assist,” she narrated.

“When they were still trying to render first aid, Dube said the deceased’s mobile phone rang and the caller’s identity was listed as “Gogo.”

“I answered the phone and told the caller that Thabani had fallen down and was not waking up. The caller advised us to leave him like that as she had given him some medicine to clean his stomach. She also said we must not take him to the hospital and that she would come to our place,” Dube said.

After 30 minutes, the caller, Gogo, arrived at their home and touched the deceased’s chest.

“The woman was sure that Thabani was still alive and continued saying, ‘he is alive.’ She suggested that he had fallen because the medicine may have weakened him. She then left after that and has not returned since,” Dube said.

She later summoned an ambulance and her husband was confirmed dead.

“This was now around 11 am,” she said.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said he had not received the report.

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