An 11-year-old boy from Chief Saunyama’s area in Nyanga died on Wednesday after he reportedly tampered with and detonated a landmine he had found buried near the family homestead.
Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Enock Chishiri yesterday confirmed the incident and identified the victim as Takudzwa Nyamutowa of Bumhira village near the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border.
According to police, the anti-personnel device exploded after the boy allegedly connected it to a six-volt battery.
“Circumstances of the matter are that on the fateful day, Takudzwa Nyamutowa (11) found an explosive and took it home where he connected it to a six-volt battery and it exploded in his face causing serious injuries on his mouth, nose and chin,” Chishiri said.
The boy died on admission at Regina Coeli Mission Hospital.
“There are many explosives in areas surrounding borders such as Chimanimani, Chipinge and Nyanga here in Manicaland.
“We would like to urge members of the public to alert police on every explosive they would have found in their area.
“We also want the message to be spread in schools because normally children would want to experiment with these dangerous items,” Chishiri added.
An estimated 1,5 million anti-personnel mines are believed to have been planted along Zimbabwe’s borders by the colonial regime during the liberation struggle.
To date, the devices have reportedly killed over 2 000 communal people and traumatised about 800 000 as they lay at unmarked sites.