…Residents blame council over drowing
Arron Nyamayaro, H-Metro Reporter
RESIDENTS have blamed Harare City Council for the death of three children who drowned in an abandoned trench dug by council workers in order to repair water pipes.
This comes after three children of the same neighbourhood drowned on Saturday in a shaft left open in the paddocks in Kuwadzana.
Tatenda Mudyawabikwa, 10, a Grade 4 pupil at David Livingstone Primary School, Bright Staben, 11, a Grade 5 and Michael Chivere, 11, both of Kuwadzana 2 Primary School drowned while swimming at the disused shaft left open by employees of the City of Harare.
Kuwadzana young children were reported to have been visiting the shaft to swim whenever it was filled with water following heavy rains.
Residents had no kind words for the City of Harare over leaving open shafts following the tragic incident.
“We are appealing to the department of works under City of Harare to respect the sanctity of life because their employees have a tendency of leaving open shafts in most of the areas they dig while repairing or replacing sewer and water pipes,” said one of the residents.
“Dai vachisiya vadzivirira zvavo kana netambo kuti vanhu vaone zvino vanosiya makomba pavanenge vashanda sekunonzi vanobva vachitandaniswa.
“It is sad to lose lives due to such accidents that can easily be avoided by applying due diligence when discharging our duties,” said the resident.
A relative to one of the victims said council has not done anything to the families even sending condolence messages.
“At least they could have even provided us with water but we are struggling to have water to service all the people gathered for the funeral.”
The relative said they were waiting for Covid-19 tests results before they could bury their child probably tomorrow depending on how fast the results would have been released.
Harare’s acting communications officer, Innocent Ruwende said it was unfortunate that the incident occurred when the workers were still to repair the pipes.
“It is unfortunate that some people illegally settled themselves in the paddock area which has a lot of Council infrastructure,” said Ruwende.
“In this case the area is a prohibited as it is a Council paddock which is irrigated and can easily flood.
“Our workers dug up the place in question to repair a corroded pipe which they patched up while waiting for fabrication of the pipe.
“We are urging residents to monitor their children to avoid loss of lives,” said Ruwende.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the tragic incident urging parents and guardians to closely monitor movements of children.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to confirm the drowning of three children in a disused shaft at the paddocks area in Kuwadzana on Saturday,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.
“The trio was playing in the shaft allegedly left open by City of Harare Council employees and they were reported to have jumped into and drowned.
“Their bodies were discovered on Sunday by one of the City Council employees Simon Phiri and their clothes were by the side of the shaft,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.
He urged people to avoid water bodies especially during rainy season.