pupil at Hugh Beadle Primary School, who was swept away by the Mazayi River on her way back from school.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo confirmed the incident yesterday. “The 11-year-old pupil was coming from Hugh Beadle Primary School with her friends and were playing at Dawson Bridge in Sauerstown, near the State House, when she fell head-long into the flooded Mazayi River and was swept away,” he said.
Insp Moyo said the police were yet to find out if the body had been retrieved.
However, a Sauerstown resident, who spoke to Chronicle on conditions of anonymity, said the body was retrieved in Trenance yesterday morning.
“After a whole night search by the police and residents the body was found in the Trenance area in the early hours of yesterday,” said the resident.
In a related incident an eight-year-old girl drowned while attending a birthday party at a local hotel in Bulawayo.
Inspector Moyo said the incident happened last Saturday.
“It is alleged the juvenile was attending a family friend’s birthday party at a local hotel and when others were enjoying, she sneaked out of the room and went to the swimming pool.
“She was rescued on the verge of drowning and rushed to United Bulawayo Hospitals where she died upon arrival,” he said.
Insp Moyo appealed to members of the public to refrain from crossing flooded rivers saying they should exercise extreme caution especially during this rainy season which has seen a number of people drowning.
“We would like to advise parents and school authorities to warn children against playing near flooded rivers or swimming pools,” said said Insp Moyo.
In an interview yesterday, national police spokesperson, Superitendent Andrew Phiri, said a total of 84 people had drowned countrywide since the onset of the rains.
“As of 1 September 2012 to 3 January 2013, a total of 84 people have drowned while 38 others were struck by lightning countrywide.
Members of public must desist from crossing flooded rivers whether on foot or in vehicles as vehicles are also in danger of stalling in the middle of rivers resulting in the death of passengers,” said Supt Phiri.