The first rains which have been witnessed in the past week have not left the good history only as the rains claimed lives of three people in Gokwe through lightning.

This took the villagers to each other’s throat, amid witchcraft accusations, which is an African norm whenever, there is death in the community.

There is now finger pointing on the entire Chireya, Nemangwe and Mawere communities where the incidents took place, spreading a dark cloud panic mode amid allegations that some unscrupulous members of the society are selling the rain magic to deal with perceived enemies.

This is not for the first time in Gokwe to have some members accused of selling lightning eggs. It also happened in 2013/4 in Chief Nenyunka’s community where in a family of four, only a baby survived.

Such incidents are also visible in the entire Gokwe community including Gokwe South District as testified by Chief Nemangwe.

Well, the aspect of lightning-related deaths is not new to Gokwe. However, this latest development has left us in a real catch 22 situations. We normally experience such in the middle of the rainy season not on the onset as we witnessed now. I have since summoned other traditional leaders so that we have a ‘Bira’ to appease the ancestors which is to be held on the 14th of this month at my homestead. Witchcraft can’t be ruled out under the circumstances.

The Gokwe District Coordinating Chairperson, Mrs Netsai Mushauri, who is also head of the district’s Civil Protection Department confirmed the deaths and warned members of the community to adhere to safety standards during heavy rains.

We have since received the news about the sad deaths involving the villagers. We, however, warn citizens against staying outdoors when it is raining. We usually experience cases of people being swept away by flooded rivers. People should be patient and wait for the water levels to subsidise before they cross such rivers to avoid the unnecessary loss of lives,” she said.

Among some precautions to minimise chances of being struck by lightning, people are urged to avoid touching water and electronic equipment when it is raining.

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