Alcohol poisoning in Bulawayo: 13yo boy died in agony

Left unattended, a 13-year-old boy from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, swallowed all the liquid from a 750ml bottle of undiluted brandy within an hour. He died a few days later. The authorities are investigating a case of apparent alcohol poisoning.

The young boy named Clayton Mhlanga was guarding a car while his older friends watched a soccer match at the Barbourfields Stadium. He had reportedly drunk the whole bottle alone. The friends, Mthunzi Malaba, aged 22, Thobani Ncube and Likhwa Dube have since disappeared.

Bulawayo police’s Chief Inspector Precious Simango commented on the gruesome incident, saying, “On November 30 at about 2pm, the deceased went to Barbourfields Stadium to watch the match with his friends. The now deceased was left guarding the car. After the match, the three friends returned and realised that the now deceased had consumed undiluted alcohol which they had left in the car.”

The boy’s friends decided to take him home where he lived with his stepfather Emmanuel Sibanda. Clayton was unconscious.

The next day, Sibanda fed Clayton with some water and porridge. The body returned all the food back showing no improvement signs to his health. At some point, his condition had started to dramatically deteriorate until he took his last breath that day at around 3pm, according to the stepfather.

The boy’s grandmother believes her grandson’s death is unrelated to drinking a huge dose of alcohol. She suspects the disappeared friends are to blame for the boy’s death.

“The post-mortem results said his kidneys were swollen, his tummy was full of water and some drops of alcohol were also found in the tummy. So, if it is alcohol that caused his death then why has his tongue and hands turned black. We suspect that there might be foul play by his friends,” Clayton’s grandmother told the journalists.

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