(3) three Lupane families watched in sorrow as 16 of their cattle that were struck dead by lightning were buried.
The lightning incident occurred last week Thursday in Mbembesi 1, in Lupane East Constituency.
While losing cattle is sad on its own, the sight of the carcasses being buried in the ground without benefitting anything from them is unbearable.
Culturally, it is taboo to touch anything struck by lightning or burn it before some rituals are performed.
The items can then be burnt or buried underground and it is believed that this prevents further strikes.
Kusile Rural District Councillor forward 23 Fibion Ngwenya said of the 16 beasts, 13 belonged to one family while two others lost two and one respectively.
“Yes, 16 cattle were struck dead by lightning in my ward. Thirteen of them belong to one person while another family had two and another one beast struck dead.
The incident happened on Thursday and the beasts were buried underground on Friday.
“They went to see the carcasses and could not do anything because culturally they cannot be burnt which happens even when a tree is struck by lightning. It is first cut and gathered together. So, they ended up digging a trench and burying them all,” said Cllr Ngwenya.
He could not give more details as his phone lost network connection during the interview.
The owners of the cattle could not be identified as Mbembesi 1 area, a resettlement area southeast of St Luke’s has network connection challenges.
The incident happened just a day after four villagers in the same district in Lupane West constituency lost nine cattle that were hit by a haulage truck that ploughed into a herd last Wednesday in Chimwara area.
A Botswana registered truck reportedly hit 11 beasts and seven died on the spot while two others died a distance away.
The truck was headed toward Bulawayo and the accident occured at a depression between Halfway and Gwayi River.
However, the lightning incident is not the first tragedy to befall Lupane after Evans Moyo (22) of Ndimimbili Village under Chief Mabhikwa and his three-year-old daughter were struck dead early this month while at home.
The lightning incident left Moyo’s wife Nomatter (23) with burns and she was treated and discharged at St Luke’s Hospital.
Early this year, a 13-year-old Thabo Ndlovu from Chidobe outside Victoria Falls and his friend Andrew Mpunzi cheated death when a bolt of lightning struck their herd of cattle in a bush killing three oxen and a heifer on the spot.
The Two Form One boys had gone to herd cattle in a bush near their village when it started raining in the afternoon before a bolt of lightning struck.
Three goats were also struck dead in a separate incident at almost the same time in the neighbouring BH10 village.- Chronicle