[Image used for illustrative purposes] In a saddening development, a total number of 10 villagers out of the sixteen who were shelling maize at a farmer’s homestead in the Wuyuwuyu area of Murewa, in Mashonaland East Province, ended up being hospitalised after they reportedly consumed poisoned food.

Private media reports indicate that those who were admitted at Murewa District Hospital on Wednesday included the farmer’s wife and his 3 year-old grandchild.

A source quoted by Newsday said the other victims were at a farmer’s homestead where they had been hired to shell maize. They reportedly experienced stomach pains after they consumed vegetables suspected to have been sprayed.

“There is an unfortunate incident in which people who were shelling maize at a local farmer’s homestead have been taken to hospital over suspected food poisoning. The total number of those who were fed is 16 but only 10 have been admitted to Murewa (hospital). A villager health worker has since been sent to compile a report.

“They had tea and cowpeas as breakfast before having sadza and vegetables with chicken as lunch. They also drank mahewu,” said the source, who is reportedly related to the farmer.

Health workers have since visited the homestead to find the cause of the stomach aches, per the Newsday.

Although Paul Matsvimbo, the Mashonaland East provincial medical director, could not be immediately reached for comment, Zanu PF Murewa South parliamentary candidate, Noah Mangondo, yesterday confirmed the incident  saying he was mobilising resources to pay medical bills for the affected villagers.

It is also understood that some of the victims had been treated and discharged as of yesterday.