Police in Matabeleland North have verified that three minors died in two distinct incidences while swimming in the Hwange and Nkayi areas.
In the first incidence, three minors from Mafuka village under Chief Madliwa area in Nkayi, Blessing Tshuma (8), Thandolwenkosi Tshuma (8), and Nkosilamandla Tshuma (4), drowned last Thursday in a well made by villagers on the bank of the Kana River.
The second incidence included Princess Kwibisa, 17, of Change village, under Chief Nekatambe in Hwange, who drowned in a pool on the Lukosi River while attempting to save her swimming-dying eight-year-old sibling. The event took place on Sunday.
Princess, a pupil at Lukosi Secondary School failed to rescue her sibling as she could not swim and another juvenile aged 16 who was in their company, managed to rescue the eight-year-old.
Police spokesperson for Matabeleland North Inspector Glory Banda confirmed both incidents.
“Three juveniles drowned after they dived into a well along Kana River in Gwelutshena on 26 October. On the fateful day, the three went to play in the river where they usually played and did not return home,” he said.
“Villagers formed a search party to look for the three juveniles, but the attempt was fruitless as it got dark before they could locate them. They continued the following day and discovered one body floating on water in the well.”
Insp Banda said villagers managed to retrieve the body. They used buckets to scoop water from the well and found the other two bodies trapped in the mud two metres deep in the well.
“In a similar incident, Princess Kwibisa (17), drowned on Lukosi River on 19 October. The deceased, her sibling aged 9 and a friend aged 16 went fishing in Lukosi River. The sibling entered the water to swim and started sinking,” he said.
“In an effort to save her sibling, Princess dived into the water but also failed to swim and started drowning. Seeing that the two were in danger, they dived into the water and managed to rescue the nine-year-old girl while Princess failed to make it.”
Police attended both scenes and took the bodies to the mortuary for postmortem.
“As police, we urge the public not to attempt to cross flooded rivers and they should also be on the lookout for their children to avoid such incidents, particularly now that we are in the rainy season,” he said.