Villagers in Marondera East said they were leaving in fear of lightning strikes, following the onset of the rainy season which have so far claimed three lives in the province.

Last week, two male adults from Marondera East died after they were struck in separate incidents, shortly after a Grade Seven pupil succumbed to a bolt of lightning while cleaning the school yard in Murewa.

Marondera District Council chairperson, Patrick Chidhakwa confirmed the incidents and identified the deceased as Jonah Chihaka (25) of ward 20 and another yet to be identified herdboy from ward 37.

"It is a pity that we continue to lose lives in this area because of lightning. I am of the belief that rains mean life, but that's not it. Two people were struck by lightning in ward 20 and 37 and we are currently running around to assist with burials," he said.

"The other deceased from ward 37 comes from Rusape and was employed as a herdboy at Hombarume homestead. So far, I have organised coffins and there is need for transport to Rusape," Chidhakwa said.

The late Chihaka's nephew Shepherd Zenda said his relative was struck while at his homestead.

"He left my homestead only to hear that he was struck by lightning at his homestead. He was seen by some school children who were threatened by the same bolt. When I rushed there I found him already dead with flowers and a hoe in his hands. I think he wanted to plant some flowers since it was raining. I went to the police and they told me that they were also going to attend to another similar incident near Masomera," he said.

Early this year, two pupils died while 83 others were injured after a lightning bolt struck pupils who were at an assembly at Chinatsa Secondary School in Marondera East.

Acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Tendai Mwanza could not be reached for comment yesterday.