By Nomore Kudzedzereka
Chief Chiweshe Joseph Chigariro of Chiweshe, Mazowe District, has died. Mr Chigariro (82) died last Thursday after he was attacked by a swarm of wild bees at his home in Chiweshe. Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira confirmed the death.
“I can confirm the sad departure of one of our fellow chiefs whom I have been told was attacked by stray wild bees,” he said.
According to Chief Charumbira, Mr Chagariro, who was an experienced bee-keeper himself, was resting outside his house on Thursday afternoon. He was alone at home at the time.
A swarm of bees suddenly swooped on the homestead and attacked him. Neighbours only rushed to the scene an hour later. The neighbours subsequently ferried him to Concession District Hospital where he died. It later turned out that the bees also killed one of the chief’s dogs and attacked poultry.
Chief Charumbira said the realm leader will be buried on May 8. He said Chief Chiweshe was a key member of the Chiefs’ Council of Zimbabwe who also played an active role throughout the land reform programme.
“He was one of our strongest members in the Council of Chiefs. He had a great passion for the country and wanted to see the preservation of our culture and traditions. The colonialists had parcelled out land among themselves because Mazowe comprises rich agricultural land. However, Chief Chiweshe made sure these land imbalances were corrected.
“He stood firm to ensure our identity and heritage as blacks were well-protected. That ranks him among the greatest chiefs of our era.”
Concession District Hospital authorities could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Harare General Hospital clinical director Mr George Vera said an individual could succumb to a bee sting if his or her body reacts. He said victims could survive if treated early.
“There are two ways in which one can die from a bee attack. An individual can die even if he or she is attacked by a single bee if that person is allergic to bee stings. Then there are times when the body becomes overwhelmed by multiple bee stings, resulting in the inflammation of the skin.”