Zim boy, 8, alleged kills friend with rifle

2016-02-12 16:33

Harare – An eight-year-old Zimbabwean boy has allegedly shot his friend dead with a home-made rifle, a state-controlled newspaper reported on Friday.

The dead child, who has not been named, was seven-years-old, according to the Manica Post.

The tragedy happened on Saturday when the two boys were playing near a cattle kraal in the arid Marange district of eastern Zimbabwe.

Paul Changadzo, 56, had earlier been hunting on Mutandanda Range and had left his rifle hanging on a pole while he went to milk his cows in the kraal.

The boys found it and the elder child shot his playmate, according to the paper, which is published in the eastern city of Mutare.

"[The eight-year-old] shot the seven-year-old boy on the right shoulder," police spokesperson Tavhiringwa Kakohwa was quoted as saying.

"The bullet went into his ribs and came out on his left buttock. He died on the spot," the spokesperson said.

Changadzo rushed out of the kraal when he heard the gunshot and immediately called the police.

The Manica Post did not say if Changadzo was related to either of the boys. The rifle has been confiscated by police.

It was not immediately clear if Changadzo was hunting legally.

Drought is hitting the Marange district hard and many of its residents are starving.

State ZBC radio reported on Wednesday that villagers in the Chiadzwa area of Marange were "desperate" and had resorted to just one meal a day.

The crisis has been worsened because they are not allowed to farm in the diamond fields, where they used to grow crops. 

"Many villagers [are] staying in fenced diamond mining fields, with no agricultural activities allowed," ZBC reported.

Shooting tragedies are not commonly reported in Zimbabwe.

Last September a 9-year-old boy shot his brother in the stomach in the Waterfalls area of Harare. The gun belonged to the boys' father and had been left unsecured in a bedroom. The victim, aged 10, survived.

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