BY REX MPHISA
A BEITBRIDGE villager was blown to smithereens when he tried to crack a 60mm propeller mortar bomb he picked, which also killed his seven year old son.
Realise Mpofu (26) and his son Tsepo of Chaswingo under Chief Matibe’s area died on the spot from effects of the powerful bomb, which injured his other five year old daughter who witnessed the horror incident from a distance.
Fragments of the bomb extensively damaged his house and ripped apart a Mopani tree some metres next to the house.
Mpofu had his legs, palms and face blown off in the powerful explosion heard by other villagers from kilometres away.
The officer commanding Beitbridge Police District Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo confirmed the incident.
“The unfortunate incident really occurred,” he said without giving details.
Sources close to investigations said Mpofu left home in the morning and returned just before sunset.
He met his wife along the way who, was visiting a friend in the neighbourhood.
Mpofu asked if she had prepared supper as she proceeded in the opposite direction.
But before settling for his supper Mpofu is said to have taken the bomb from the carrier of his bicycle where it was strapped.
He sat in front of his house and used a pair of pliers, a nail and a stone to crack the strange object.
It blew in his face killing him and his son on the spot.
“Villagers rushed to the scene after the explosion only to find the two deceased with Mpofu’s face from the nose upwards, palms and legs blown off,’ said the source.
Mpofu and his son were buried in one grave last week.
There have been several cases of villagers stumbling on grenades and bombs that are believed to be remnants of the 1970s liberation war.