Teenager drowns while swim­ming

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Masvingo & South-West News - Mid­lands Cor­re­spon­dent

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy drowned at Cac­tus Poorte Dam in Red­cliff while swim­ming with his class­mates last week.

The boy, Keith Manyamba, was do­ing Form 2 at Ru­tendo High School.

The boys went for a swim af­ter they were dis­missed by their teach­ers to make way for other pupils that were writ­ing ex­am­i­na­tions.

His body was re­trieved by the sub­aqua unit af­ter fish­er­men had spent hours search­ing for it. Manyamba was stay­ing with his ma­ter­nal grand­mother while his mother was work­ing in South Africa.

His grand­mother re­fused to speak to the me­dia.

A fam­ily rep­re­sen­ta­tive, who claimed to be the boy’s un­cle, said his drown­ing had shocked the fam­ily.

“We are still in shock as the fu­ture of the boy which was look­ing bright ended with­out any ex­pla­na­tion,” he said. “We were told that they had been dis­missed from school to make way for stu­dents that were writ­ing ex­ams, so they went to the dam with­out the school au­thor­i­ties’ con­sent.

“As a fam­ily ob­vi­ously we are yet to come to terms with it.”

Red­cliff Mayor Coun­cil­lor Clay­ton Masiy­atsva con­firmed the in­ci­dent.

“We are sad­dened as Red­cliff to have lost such a young life,” he said. “It is not our duty to point fin­gers, but when tragedy strikes like this it is im­por­tant to at­tack it as a com­mu­nity. We are re­ally at a loss right now.”

Clr Masiy­atsva said coun­cil will take mea­sures to ring-fence wa­ter bod­ies in the town.

“We will def­i­nitely take mea­sures to safe­guard wa­ter bod­ies in the town so we avoid los­ing lives un­nec­es­sar­ily,” he said.

“This is the sec­ond loss within months and as a lo­cal au­thor­ity we have to take mea­sures of safe­guard­ing lives.”

Kwekwe Dis­trict Schools In­spec­tor Mr Bernard Mazam­bani said he was yet to get a re­port on the tragedy.

Red­cliff MP Lloyd Mukapiko chal­lenged coun­cil to solve wa­ter prob­lems and con­struct recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties.

The in­ci­dent comes af­ter an­other pupil, Ali Phiri, was at­tacked by a croc­o­dile while swim­ming in Kwekwe River with his friends re­cently.

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