Ellah Mukwati Herald Reporter
An eight-year-old pupil at David Livingstone Primary School in Harare was yesterday found dead in the school’s swimming pool. Mufaro Matemba, who was in a special class, is suspected to have sneaked into the pool at break time and his body was found floating by school authorities and relatives around lunch time.
The incident left the family and Mufaro’s school mates shell-shocked.
Mufaro’s father, Mr Anaf Matemba, said: “I received a phone call from my wife and I suspected that something was wrong because she was crying, so I had to come quickly to the school,” he said.
“When I got here, I realised that this is what happened and I am in shock.”
A close relative, Crister Matema, said the pain was unbearable as she could not believe they had lost Mufaro in such a tragic manner.
A source at the school said they suspected the boy had sneaked through the fence.
“The boy went missing after break time and we were looking for him all over the school yard,” said the source. “When a relative came to collect him around lunch time, he also joined in the search.
“We went to search at the school swimming pool area and that is when we saw Mufaro’s clothes by the side of the pool. We then saw his body floating in the pool.”
District Education Officer Mrs Anatolia Ncube, who was at the school when The Herald crew arrived, said they were investigating the case.
“We feel sorry as a district and as a ministry about what has happened because we have lost a life and we are in the process of gathering facts on the incident,” she said.
School headmaster Mr Milton Ndhlela said he could not comment for professional reasons.
Police chief spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said police attended the scene and retrieved Mufaro’s body.
“I can confirm the incident,” she said. “It is very sad to lose a child on the second day of schools opening.
“There is need for close monitoring of pupils at such areas. Schools should make sure that those places are locked at all times because kids are very curious.
“We are investigating the matter and if there is any case of negligence the people responsible will be held accountable.”