Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Two men from Mtetengwe area 30km west of Beitbridge drowned on Sunday afternoon while swimming in Muengedzi River.
The incident occurred at around 3pm after the men had attended two funerals in the area. Relatives of the deceased and other villagers teamed up to retrieve the bodies some 500 metres from the drowning point.
The deceased have been identified as Themba Muleya and Patson Mdau all in their mid-30s.
A cousin to Muleya, Mr Narshel Ndlovu said the men were trapped in the river for three hours before their bodies were retrieved.
“I am at loss for words. We had just attended a funeral together when they decided to go swimming at the river,” he said.
“Unfortunately there were rains up stream and the river was swollen and they drowned.”
District civil protection unit chairperson Mrs Kiliboni Ndou Mbedzi said it was the first drowning incident since start of rainy season.
“This is very unfortunate incident and the first since the start of the rainy season. We have been sending teams on the ground to raise awareness on issues of drowning and flooding around the district,” she said.
She urged members of the public to avoid crossing flooded rivers or entering water bodies to avoid the unnecessary loss of lives.
Ward 6 councillor Mr Joseph Muleya said it was a black weekend for the Mtetengwe community.
“Our hearts are heavy with sorrow. Today we buried another man who died during an accident in the town,” said Clr Muleya.
The other man who was buried earlier in the day was run over by a waste collection vehicle at Beitbrigde Municipality on Thursday morning.