Zimbabwean man survives after spear pierces his skull in love triangle brawl


BULAWAYO—A Zimbabwean man who was stabbed in the head with a spear during a fight over a woman has miraculously survived after doctors removed the weapon from his skull.

Bulawayo artisanal miner survives spear attack to skull Zimbabwe latest news
Lucky to be alive ... Bulawayo man survived spear attack to his skull

Ishmael Tshabalala, an illegal artisanal miner from Inyathi in Bubi District, Matabeleland North Province, was rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo with the spear still lodged in his head.

Dr Garikai Mwale, a specialist neurosurgeon who led the operation, said Tshabalala was lucky to be alive as the spear had penetrated his skull and brain and narrowly missed major blood vessels. He said:

"The patient had a penetrating skull injury coming from the front and going out to the side. It passed through the bone, and the brain and went to the other side.

"The patient sustained a serious injury but fortunately, when he came to the hospital he was fully conscious.

"We managed to operate on the patient. The spear also encroached onto one of the bigger veins, one of the sinuses but we managed to control the bleeding.

"Severe force was used to penetrate bone in two places and he is very fortunate to be alive."

Dr Mwale expressed concern over the high number of victims of violent crime that the hospital has to attend to, especially during weekends. He blamed widespread drug and alcohol abuse for the increase in assaults by weapons such as knobkerries or knives.

Mpilo Central Hospital chief executive officer Dr. Narcacius Dzvanga echoed Dr Mwale's sentiments and urged people to resolve their disputes peacefully.

The Chronicle newspaper reported that Tshabalala and his assailant were fighting over a woman when the incident happened.

Illegal artisanal mining is rampant in Zimbabwe, where many people risk their lives to make a living by digging for gold, diamonds and other minerals in abandoned mines or rivers. 

The government has been cracking down on illegal mining activities, which it says are harmful to the environment and human health. 

However, some miners accuse the government of favouring foreign investors who take most of the profits from the country's mineral resources.

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