Snake bites in Rukwa not man-made, residents told

THE Sumbawanga authority in Rukwa Region has assured residents of Kinambo village along the Lake Rukwa Basin, Milepa Ward that the black mambas, which have so far killed five residents in the area for five consecutive years are not man-staged, hence they ought to refrain from linking them with superstitious beliefs.

Reports from the area showed that the lurking black mambas (Dendroaspis polylepis), have been threatening the villagers, with many terming them to be man-made, since 2016, when they bit and killed five people.

Expounding, the Sumbawanga District Council Land and Natural Resource Officer, Mr Chande Juma told the ‘Daily News’ over the phone that one of the snakes has been killed after biting to death a villager they identified as Isaack Ndoti (60).

“Historically, the area where Kinambo village sits on was established from the forest that used to be home of the black mambas, but as the population of the people grew, they cleared the area for settlements, which in a way means that it was human beings who followed the snakes in their habitats,” pointed out Mr Juma.

On his part, the Kinambo Village Executive Officer (VEO) Mr Richard Sungura named those who had been bitten and killed by the snake as Benedicto Kasele (14), who was a student, Elezina Kasele (68), Saise Shigela (21), John Mboganzuri (63) and Issack Ndoti (60) who was killed recently.

According to WEO in the past four years, more than 100 herds of cows have also been bitten to death by the snakes. He also said the black mambas have also been biting and killing dozens of goats and dogs in the area.

However, the Milepa Ward Councillor Mr Apolinary Macheta, who is also the Sumbawanga District Council Vice Chairman, said strangely enough in the past period, the people were reportedly bitten and killed only on Sundays.

The Rukwa Regional Police Commander (RPC) Mr George Kyando confirmed the incident and maintained that five people were bitten and killed by the snakes.

Author: PETI SIYAME in Sumbawanga

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