Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
TWO more people have drowned in disused pits in Bulawayo’s Pelandaba West suburb within a week with authorities urging members of the public to keep away from the water bodies.
Shane Ngona (20) from Pumula North drowned while taking a bath with Nqobizitha Mhlanga (18) from the same suburb also drowning while attempting to rescue his friend.
The incident occurred just five days after Keith Ncube (15) drowned in the pool of death.
The pits are scattered all over Bulawayo with some of them in Luveve, Nkulumane, Cowdray Park and Entumbane.
They are mainly caused by sand poachers who after, extracting sand, leave them uncovered.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the two drowning incidents yesterday.
“Police in Bulawayo are handling two cases of sudden death by drowning which occurred on Saturday at about 7PM.
The two victims from Pumula North are said to have left their home to go and bath at Pelandaba West Emagodini area. Shane is said to have dived into the water and drowned and his brother who had followed them up started to search for him leading to Nqobizitha also drowning in the process,” said Insp Ncube.
He said a report was made to the police who dispatched a sub aqua unit from Zimbabwe Republic Police Fair Bridge who searched and retrieved their bodies.
“The deceased bodies were positively identified by their parents and police inspected them and observed that they did not have any injuries. The bodies were taken to the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) for postmortem but no foul play is suspected,” he said.
“Police would like to urge members of the public, especially those who cannot swim to desist from playing in water bodies as they risk drowning.”
Bulawayo Deputy Mayor councillor Mlandu Ncube said it was worrying that lives continue to be lost unnecessarily.
“It’s sad that we are losing lives in such a manner especially as we are battling with the Covid-19 pandemic. But we hope that these were the last deaths to be reported in the city.
As council it is within our budgets to put perimeter fences around those areas and we also planning to try and cover those pits but this is work in progress as we are resource-constrained.
We also want to encourage residents to exercise caution during this rainy season and avoid playing near water bodies. We also want to pass our condolence messages to the families who have lost their loved ones,” Cllr Ncube.−@nqotshili