Lightning strikes four villagers on same day

Sukoluhle Ndlovu
A strolling session by two lovebirds in the bush ended in a flash when the two were struck by a bolt of lightning resulting in the death of the man while the woman sustained severe burns.

Mlamuli Sibanda of Sikombingo village under Chief Sogwala in Lower Gweru had gone to the nearby Dufuya village to visit his girlfriend Gladys Mpofu when he met his fate.

“Mlamuli came home and asked to see Gladys. Gladys then introduced him to her aunt as her boyfriend and from there they decided to take a stroll just like any other normal couple,” said Gladys’ mother Filda Mpofu.

Disaster struck when it began to rain during their walk. They took refuge under a tree.

“There was loud thunder and they both fell down. After some time Gladys managed to wake up and called out to Mlamuli but he did not respond,” said Mpofu.

Gladys managed to get home where she sought for help.

“When she got home, her clothes were ripped. She had burns on her neck, abdomen, thighs and feet. A portion of her hair was also burnt,” said Mpofu.

Nothing could be done to save Sibanda.

“When villagers got to the tree, Sibanda had already died,” added Mpofu.

Gladys was then taken to the nearest clinic which then referred her to Gweru General Hospital.

Sibanda’s family is still in shock.

“We had woken up to a beautiful day, in the afternoon he told me he wanted to visit his girlfriend.  Roughly 30 minutes after he left I received a call from a policeman informing me that my grandson had been struck by lightning.

He had died on the spot,” said the grief stricken Gogo MaBhebhe.

In an unrelated incident but on the same day in the same village, one Ntombizodwa Khumalo was also struck by lightning on her feet.

She was taken to the clinic where she was treated. But another victim Fundai Chimbima of Lugwalo village on the same day was also struck by lightning. He died.

Midlands Police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko could not be reached for comment as he was out of town.