Tinomuda Chakanyuka Sunday News Reporter
EIGHT people, among them seven family members, died when a car they were travelling in was swept away by a strong current while attempting to cross a flooded Ngwazani River bridge along Battlefields-Turf Road in Kadoma, police have confirmed. The tragic incident occurred on Friday last week and the bodies of the eight were recovered about 150 metres from the bridge yesterday, trapped in the vehicle, a Honda CRV.
Police have identified the deceased as Nomatter Ndodo (40) his wife Magneta Musariri (26), their two-year-old son Tawanda Ndodo from Zimplats Mining Company in Ngezi, Edes Musariri (31), who is a sister to Magneta, and her two children Benedict Mhande (9), Catherine Mhande (20 months), all of House Number 615, Three Bedroom Section Zimplats Turf area in Ngezi.
The other deceased, whose relationship to the seven family members could not be immediately established, was identified as Ngonidzashe Gavi of Number 2951 Co-Houses Section, Turf Area in Ngezi.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, confirmed the tragedy in a statement yesterday.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to confirm that eight people died on 2 January 2015 along Battlefields-Turf Road in Kadoma when the driver tried to cross Ngwazani River Bridge which had been submerged by water.
“The vehicle, a Honda CRV was then swept downstream by a strong current. Bodies were recovered on 3 January about 150 metres away from the bridge.
“It is very sad to note that the driver of the Honda CRV did not take heed of the calls not to cross a flooded bridge by other motorists who were patiently waiting for the river to subside. Police are appealing to motorists to be patient and stop crossing flooded rivers,” she said.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba, said two more people were swept away by floods in Mashonaland West province while trying to hang on to tree branches as 20 others were marooned after Angwa River in Chikuti mining area burst its banks.
This brings the death toll as a result of floods to 10 people so far this year.
Some people in Gudubu area, Mhangura, have also been left homeless after their houses were swept away by floods in the past few days.
Snr Assist Comm Charamba said members of the public should be on high alert of potential floods, urging those living in low lying areas to relocate to high ground to avoid being affected by floods.
“Parents are urged to monitor their children’s movements to curtail drowning incidents. No one should attempt to cross flooded water points. This includes those moving on foot, bicycles, scotch carts and herding cattle.
“People who are in low lying areas are urged to move to higher ground to prevent possible drowning situations,” she said.
Meanwhile, police have also highlighted some of the roads and crossing points in areas worst hit by floods that have been rendered impassable, urging motorists to be cautious when approaching those flooded points.
The points include Chikuti Bridge Along Harare-Chirundu Road, which has also been blocked by flowing water near Lion’s Den before Mhangura Road turn-off and Two Tree-Bridge along Mhangura Road.