Seven people have drowned during this rainy season while trying to cross the flooded Runde River.
Three people, including a three-year-old baby, died after the Toyota Hilux car they were travelling in was swept away by the flooded Runde River at Chilonga Bridge this Monday.
The vehicle that was travelling to Chilonga business centre from Chiredzi had ten passengers on board. Said a villager:
This accident is not sitting well with us. We have many unanswered questions because this bridge is slowly turning into a death snare that people are just dying here. So far seven have died during this rainy season and it’s troubling us.
“We were there when the incident occurred and we tried to rescue all the passengers, unfortunately, two drowned and we also couldn’t find a two-year-old baby. We thought the child was trapped under the car so when we moved the car yesterday, we still couldn’t find the child.
As the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Buchwa sub-aqua unit was conducting a search operation for the body this Wednesday, a member of the team, Sergeant Rillford Rimai aged 34 drowned in the river and his body was retrieved last night at around 7. pm.
Police national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident:
Yes, I can confirm that one of our officers drowned in the river while searching for the missing juvenile. His body was retrieved last night. Police are still searching for the missing juvenile. It’s really sad.
Callisto Gwanetsa, legislator for Chiredzi South constituency promised to push for the bridge to be rehabilitated under the government’s emergency road rehabilitation programme (ERRP).
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has urged the public not to cross flooded water bodies.
More: ZBC News