Friday, 23 January 2015

GIRL ELECTROCUTED. . . After Neighbour Wired Grape Vine to Stop Thieves

A SAKUBVA man’s desperate bid to deter thieves by wiring metal poles supporting a grape vine with live electrical cables ended tragically when a two-year-old neighbour’s child was electrocuted after accidentally getting into contact with the poles.

Residents in the Chisamba Section of Sakubva high-density suburb in Mutare are still battling to come to terms with this nerve-wrecking incident in which 25-year-old Forward Musweweshiri allegedly electrocuted his neighbour’s two-year-old child, Sarah Karimanzira.

Sarah breathed her last on Thursday last week around 2pm after she accidentally got into contact with wires which were joined to live electric cables at House Number 152, Chisamba Singles in Sakubva.
GIRL ELECTROCUTED. . . After Neighbour Wired Grape Vine to Stop Thieves
Sarah was buried last Friday in Mutare.

Ketiwe Mabvura, one of the earliest people to arrive at the scene, said they found the still body of Sarah lying down with both legs hanging by a horizontal pole.

“When I heard people shouting that a child had been electrocuted I rushed to the scene only to find Sarah lying down with both legs hanging by a horizontal pole. I was told that I should not touch since the poles were connected to some live cables. I rushed to get a stick and removed the child.

“She was already dead by then with froth coming out of her mouth. When we came back from the hospital we were told that the wire connected to the live electric cables had been removed by Forward Musweweshiri,” she said.

Sarah’s mother, Charity Mutsiwegota, who was at pains to narrate the events leading to her daughter’s painful death, told The Weekender that the incident occurred when she had just left her child outside for a few minutes as she intended to collect clothes to replace the soiled ones she was wearing.

“We had spent the greater part of the day indoors watching TV with my daughter. I then accompanied her out as she had requested to relieve herself.

“I left her outside as she answered the call of nature and I returned into the house to collect clean pants only to hear people shouting that a child had been electrocuted.

“I rushed outside, but could not see Sarah. I then went towards our neighbours’ house where people were shouting that a child had been electrocuted.

“People denied me the chance to see her saying she was being taken to hospital. I was told to make a follow-up at the hospital and upon my arrival at the hospital I was told that she had died,” she said.

Just like most of her neighbours who were interviewed, Mutsiwegota was convinced that the metal poles supporting a grape vine were deliberately connected to live electrical cables.

“It is difficult for me to believe that they deliberately connect electric cables to the metal poles that were supporting the grape vine.

“We have heard many tales about people who got electric shocks after slightly coming into contact with the poles supporting the grapes,” she added.

Petronella Mazikana, who resides at Number 150 in the same neighbourhood, said she once asked for some grapes from Musweweshiri sometime last year, but was told that she should have asked him in the morning well before he had connected electricity to the poles supporting the vine.

“Some time towards the end of last year, I asked for some grapes from Forward (Musheweshiri), but he told me that I should have asked for the grapes in the morning well before he had connected electricity to the poles supporting the grape vine. I insisted and he instructed me to quickly get some before he connected electricity,” she said.

A local resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said prior to the incident, Musweweshiri had received several warnings from neighbours who expressed concern over the security measures he applied to safeguard his vines.

“We are all aware of the fact that this was his way of protecting his fruits. We warned him against that several times, but he did not take heed.

“There is a lady who got an electric shock when she slightly leaned on the poles. She complained about it, but Musweweshiri’s mother Beatrice Chatema told her that ‘bonga ragwinhwa ngezvaro’.

“He was supposed to have fenced his house if he wanted to protect his grapes. It is sad that Musweweshiri did not even bother to pay condolences to the bereaved family,” he said.

Without any trace of remorse in his body language, Msweweshiri vehemently denied the allegations that he was protecting his fruits from thieves by connecting live electric cables.

“It is not true at all. People in this hood say what they want, but it is not necessarily true. We were using it as a washing line and this was actually the first time that we discovered that the wire was connected to live electricity cables and therefore transmitted electricity,” he said.

His mother, Chatema, echoed her son’s sentiments, saying people hate them in the hood hence they say negative things about them.

“I know that people around us hate us and that is why they are saying all sorts of rubbish. All along we have been using the wire as a washing line and we never got electric shocks.

“This was purely an accident which occurred simply because the wire we were using as a washing line accidentally — tied to the house and the poles — got in touch with electric cables and therefore transmitted electricity to the poles that were supporting the grapes,” she said.

Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Enoch Chishiri confirmed the incident.

“Yes, we are investigating a case in which a Sakubva man is said to have tried to scare away thieves from his grape vines by wiring metal poles supporting a grape vine with live electrical cables resulting in the death of his two-year-old neighbour’s, child,” said Inspector Chishiri. – ManicaPost
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