By: Lackson Kanyoza
A sombre mood has engulfed Chimuka village, T/A Msakambewa in Dowa following the death of two children from the same family while a mother and another child have been admitted at Dowa District hospital for taking food suspected to be poisoned.
According to Dowa Police Public Relations Officer, Richard Kaponda, the deceased were identified as eleven year old Agnes Biliyati and a three year old Enifa Mlekano.
Those that are receiving treatment are Daniel Biliyati (14) and their mother Emily Biliyati (24) all from Chimuka village in the District.
The Four are reported to have been going to a garden to look after their maize field from monkeys. Kaponda said the family used to prepare Nsima during lunch time and kept the remaining flour at a place only known to them in the garden to use the following day.
“On that particular day, they went to the garden for the same exercise and as usual during lunch time, the mother prepared nsima using the flour which was left behind the previous day. When they finished taking the food, they all collapsed and were unconscious,” explained Kaponda.
The family is reported to have been taken to hospital by the village headman and the police, after a certain farmer who has his garden close to the family spotted them lying on the ground and reported the matter to the authorities.
“The two were announced dead upon arrival and the two others who survived are receiving treatment at Dowa District hospital,” said Kaponda.
Post mortem results showed that the two died because of exposure or inhalation of Organophosphate, which is a highly toxic and poisonous substance.
Meanwhile police are hunting for those responsible for this the evil deed.