THE Gokwe North Community is living in fear after three people were struck to death by lightning since the onset of the rains.

A dark cloud is hovering around Gokwe North following the sad incidents with villagers now on each others’ throats, amid witchcraft accusations.

The incidents took place in Chireya, Nemangwe and Mawere, sending the community in panic mode amid allegations that some unscrupulous members of the society are selling the rain magic to deal with perceived enemies.

Chief Nemangwe says the place is prone to lightning-related deaths but this season the situation has gone from bad to worse with a spirit appeasement exercise on the cards.

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“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 we have a Bira to appease the ancestors which are to be held on the 14th of this month at my homestead. Witchcraft can’t be ruled out under the circumstances,” he said.

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.-ZBC

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