IN a heart-rending incident that has baffled villagers in Chezya, Makwa, in Hwange, a three-year-old girl was attacked and eaten whole by a crocodile while bathing in the Zambezi River with her friend.

Tinashe Mungazi
Own Correspondent

Sources close to the developments said on February 22 the deceased, Lubelihle Nyoni, of Benita Nyoni’s homestead was bathing with her friend Mawili Reno (8) on the shores of the mighty Zambezi River when, from nowhere, the large reptile lunged forward and pulled the helpless girl into the water.

Stupefied by the horror of seeing her friend disappear into the deep of the river in the mouth of a crocodile, Mawili was rendered motionless and was only saved from becoming the reptile’s second victim by Margi Reno, who witnessed the whole incident from a distance.

“I was doing something some few metres from the river when I heard screams before I lifted up my eyes and saw a big crocodile snatching Luba from the banks, where they were bathing,” she narrated.

“I froze for a moment as my mind could not comprehend what I had seen, but then I recovered and rushed to Mawili, who seemed frozen to the spot. I whisked her away to safety.”

The girl lived with her grandmother, while her mother is based in Hwange, where she works. Villagers, however, did not immediately dismiss the incident as unfortunate tragedy, but suspected the girl’s family was cursed, as this was not the first crocodile attack on her relatives.

“It’s shocking considering that the child was so young. We do not believe this is just an accident, but there is a curse on this family,” a villager, who declined to be named, said.

“The grandfather was taken away by a crocodile years back while bathing, two years later, an uncle also met the same fate.”

He said they would engage the family on the issue, so they could consult a traditional healer in order to break the curse.

Police confirmed the incident, saying they had dispatched a sub aqua unit to retrieve the body, hinting that chances of its recovery were slim. At the time of going to press, the police sub aqua unit was still searching the river for the remains of the girl.

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