By Fairness Moyana
A girl (11) from Mweve Village, Simangani ward in Hwange lost her leg while her three friends escaped with minor injuries when a suspected landmine exploded at their homestead as they were playing.
Police confirmed that Samantha Mudimba was playing with three other minor girls aged eight years and below when the incident occurred on Tuesday.
Samantha has since been transferred from a hospital near her home and is now admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital.
“Children were injured as a result of an explosion in Sibakwazi, Mwebe Village under Chief Hwange on February 16.
Circumstances are that at around 0900hrs, four children were playing at Siphilisiwe Mathema’s homestead when there was an explosion. One child was seriously injured, losing her right leg,” said Matabeleland North police spokesperson, Inspector Glory Banda.
He said two children were rushed to Simangani Clinic before being transferred to St Patrick’s Hospital.
The one who lost her leg was then transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital.
Insp Banda warned villagers living in the area and near border areas not to pick suspicious objects.
“Our appeal to the public is that adults and children should treat every piece of metal not common in the area with suspicion especially in areas along the borders where landmines were planted during the armed struggle,” he said.
Ms Mathema whose three-year-old daughter was among the injured told Chronicle that she was startled by an explosion behind her kitchen hut as she was attending to her chores.
“The children were playing a crawling game behind my kitchen hut when all of a sudden I heard a loud explosion and children screaming. I rushed to the scene and found my younger sister, Samantha lying on the ground moaning in pain while the other children were also crying. That’s when I noticed that flesh on her leg was in shreds.
My daughter was also injured as she sustained cuts on her head and left side of the body. We raised alarm and some villagers managed to mobilise transport to the clinic before an ambulance was called to ferry them to Hwange. I’m still in shock over the whole incident as everything happened in a flash,” she narrated.
Another villager, Mr Osino Mumpande who attended the scene said he was jolted into action by a loud explosion as he worked in his field.
“I was one of the first people to arrive at the scene and assisted in mobilising transport to ferry the injured girls.
What I saw was not a good sight. One of the girls’ leg was completely shattered by the explosion while the other children suffered cuts all over their bodies. It’s a miracle that they survived especially Samantha whose injuries were serious compared to the others,” he said.
Mr Mumpande appealed to Government to ensure that landmines in the area are removed, adding that they were also killing and maiming both people and livestock.
“There was a programme that was launched sometime in 2006 by Government to demine these areas. It appears it was suspended. We appeal to Government to intervene as these are a danger to people’s lives and our livestock. Just yesterday a landmine was discovered in Msuna by our neighbours luckily no one was hurt as soldiers detonated it,” he said. The Chronicle