The 24-year-old Sakubva man who mysteriously got ill after picking a US$5 note on a grave at a cemetery in Mutare has died.
Chris Mutenje died last Thursday at Mutare Provincial Hospital as doctors struggled to treat his right hand which instantly got swollen two weeks ago after he picked the money at Yeovil Cemetery.
Relatives said his forefinger had been amputated as doctors battled to stop the mysterious pus (hurwa) that was continuously discharging with no solution to stop it. As the illness worsened after the finger amputation, Mutenje was scheduled to have the whole right hand amputated from the shoulder, but he died before the operation was conducted.
“He died a painful death. We are at loss of words to explain the nature of the illness. Doctors tried everything, but it couldn’t help,” said a relative who requested anonymity.
Mutenje, a devout Muslim, was buried on the same day he died in line with practices and tradition of the religion. He was buried at the same cemetery where he picked the mysterious US$5 note that rendered him bed-ridden.
As mourners returned from the burial, several of them were seriously injured when a Mitshubishi Canter truck they were travelling in threw them on to the tarmac after the side doors of the loading box mysteriously opened.
The injured were taken to Mutare Provincial Hospital where some were treated and discharged while some were admitted into the intensive care unit.
“It was a freak accident which nearly killed people. The truck was overloaded. We were thrown out and we landed with out buttocks on the road,” said one of the mourners.
In an interview, prior to his death, Mutenje said he was about to die.
“I am dying and I am in deep pain,” emotionally said Mutenje.
He narrated that it all started after he picked the US$5 note at Yeovil cemetery where he had gone to attend a friend’s burial.
“Moments after picking the money, I discovered that a small pimple had grown on my fore finger. I did not suspect anything and the following day I pierced the pimple with a sharp object in a bid to remove pus that had formed. The pus came out and I thought it was over. I later left some pain and the complication started affecting my finger nail.
“My hand felt numb and a woman from the neighbourhood came and removed the finger nail, saying it had been affected. After she removed the nail, it appeared as if I had been healed, but the hand started swelling. It was painful and I couldn’t sleep at night,” he said.