Boy (8) drowns in BCC-dug pit
Nyaradzo Bakari, Chronicle Reporter
AN eight-year-old boy from Pelandaba suburb in Bulawayo fell and drowned in a pit dug by Bulawayo City Council (BCC) workers.
Freedom Gorimbo, who was a Grade Three pupil at Induba Primary School, slipped and fell into a pit while in the company of friends with whom he had gone to swim in the pit.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the incident which occurred at around 5PM on Monday at a bushy area between Pumula South and Pelandaba West suburbs.
She said the boy fell into a pit which was dug by city council workers for extraction of gravel used in road maintenance.
“I can confirm a sudden death by drowning of an eight-year-old boy from Pelandaba. He had gone to the pity to swim with his friends. It is alleged that he slipped and fell into the pit. The boy tried to swim out of the pit but failed,” said Insp Simango.
Freedom’s sister, Ms Francisca Gorimbo, said they were informed of the incident by passersby who had tried to rescue the boy but failed.
“We spent the whole day watching TV then at around 4.30PM, a friend of his who is also in Grade Three came and persuaded him to go and swim. When they got to the pit, they all removed clothes to swim but he slipped into the pit before others could dive in and drowned,” she said.
“When they realised that Freedom was drowning, they asked two men who were passing by to help. One of the men tried swimming to rescue him but it was to no avail. These are the people who escorted the other boys home and told us that Freedom had drowned.”
She said Freedom was found naked and his body was floating.
Mourners gathered at the deceased’s home blamed the city council for negligence.
“That place has become dangerous and the city council is not doing anything to close or secure the pits. Had the place been secured, this wouldn’t have happened. Last year another child drowned in one of their pits and these deaths will not stop until the city council closes the pits or secures them,” said Mrs Nomathemba Moyo.
Last year in January, a 15-year-old boy from Pumula South suburb fell and drowned in a similar pit in the same area.