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FAZ leader loses 3 family members in lighting strike

FAZ leader loses 3 family members in lighting strike

Staff Writer

FOREVER Associates Zimbabwe (Faz) leader Kudakwashe Munsaka lost three family members last Tuesday after they were struck by lightning during torrential rains that hit the country.

Faz is a controversial Zanu PF affiliate group with links to the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and rose to prominence during the August 23 and 24 harmonised elections where it was said to be at the core of the alleged vote rigging.

Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds swept through the country early last week, causing massive damage to infrastructure and leaving some families homeless.

The Civil Protection Unit, the country’s rescue department during natural disasters, was last week asking for donations to assist the victims with food, clothing and shelter.

In Binga, Matabeleland North, tragedy struck at Munsaka’s family when the rains pounded the poor district, leaving three dead.

“It’s actually a tragedy that befell people of Binga in Chabwidi village under Chief Siabuwa, particularly my family,” Munsaka told The Standard yesterday.

“It was the eve of the 18th around 11pm.

“My aunt Belitha Munkuli (79) with her grandchildren; Meekness Munkuli (11) and Accept Bulemu (5) and a neighbour Rudo Muzamba were struck by lightning.

“They were sleeping in a thatched hut and lightning struck and burnt the hut.

“Neighbours tried to come and rescue them, but they failed as they had locked the door from inside. So this takes our death toll to four.”

Last Monday, four children from the same family also died after being struck by lightning while sleeping in Wadzenenga village under Chief Nyashanu in Buhera, Manicaland province.

Their mother Ever Mutamba (31) survived, but one of her legs was severely scorched by the lightning bolt.

Zimbabwe is one of the world’s most lightning-prone countries.

The majority of lightning-related fatalities and injuries in the country are usually recorded in rural areas.

The Faz leader said the Binga community was in shock.

 “It’s a situation that has shocked the community,” he said.

“We are in pain as a family and the mourners are still gathered. I bought the coffins and food for the mourners.”

Munsaka’s Faz gained prominence before the August elections after seizing control of Zanu PF’s administrative structures, coordinating party campaigns and running the party’s primaries.

A number of election observers mentioned Faz for wrongdoings during the disputed elections, including intimidating suspected opposition supporters.

Faz members have been accused of leading retributive campaigns against suspected opposition supporters, especially in rural areas.

Insiders in Zanu PF have largely viewed Faz as a parallel structure that is controlled by the CIO.

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