Suspected food poisoning kills one pupil, lands two others in hospital

By Lisa Masuku

Police in Bulawayo are investigating a case of grade four pupil in Emakhandeni who died this Wednesday from suspected food poisoning, while two others were hospitalised after consuming snacks and mahewu – a maize meal drink.

Police in Bulawayo have opened an investigation into the case of the nine-year-old grade four pupil.

“As police we are investing a case of sudden death by suspected food poisoning which occurred at Emakhandeni Primary School,” Acting Bulawayo Provincial Police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele said.

According to the police the three pupils took the snacks from one of their peers who told them they did not taste nice, prompting the deceased to crush some of the snacks mixing them with mahewu and drinking the mixture, while her other mate mixed them with popcorn and shared with the other girl, whilst the girl who brought the snacks did not eat the mixture.

“The owner of the snacks told her peers that snacks did not taste nice, which prompted the deceased to crush the snacks and mix them with mahewu. The other juvenile also took out her home-made popcorns and mixed them with the snacks and shared with the other girl, whilst the girl who brought the snacks did not eat the mixture. After eating the mixture, the three girls started vomiting, attracting the attention of their class teacher who then attended to them,” Assistant Inspector Msebele noted.

Professor Solwayo Ngwenya, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Mpilo Central Hospital where the two pupils are admitted, confirmed that the learners are in a stable condition and investigations are being conducted to establish the type of poison they consumed.

“I can confirm that three school children were indeed befallen by tragedy. Unfortunately, one of them was brought in dead already and two of them were admitted in the hospital on what appears to be suspected poisoning. The children have stabilised, they are currently receiving treatment.”

The police have also called on parents to monitor their children’s food before they go to school.