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Tragedy Strikes As Young Family Swept Away In Gokwe River Crossing Attempt

Tragedy Strikes As Young Family Swept Away In Gokwe River Crossing Attempt

In a devastating incident on Sunday around 5 PM, a young couple and their seven-day-old baby faced a tragic fate while attempting to cross the flooded Sanyati River in Gokwe, Midlands Province.

Simbarashe Kanyonde (27) and his wife Lucia Dzimba (23), residents of Mutukani Village under Chief Chireya in Gokwe North, sought to transport their ailing baby to a hospital on the opposite side. Unfortunately, their makeshift canoe capsized midstream, leading to the loss of their lives.

Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko, the spokesperson for the Midlands police, confirmed the incident, stating, “The couple intended to take their ill child to Chidamoyo Hospital for treatment. Upon reaching the Sanyati River, they boarded a canoe with the intention of crossing to the other side. Regrettably, the canoe capsized in the middle of the river, sweeping the family away.”

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The lifeless bodies of Dzimba and her baby, secured to her back, were discovered floating approximately 700 meters downstream and were retrieved by villagers. The bodies have been transported to Gokwe North District Hospital, while the search for Kanyonde continues.

Inspector Mahoko issued a plea, urging the public to refrain from attempting to cross flooded rivers to avoid unnecessary loss of lives. He highlighted a concerning increase in drowning deaths since the onset of the 2023-24 rainy season.

The police emphasize waiting for rivers to subside before crossing and discourage swimming in flooded areas, particularly by children, urging parents and guardians to exercise vigilance.

The dire situation in Gokwe has worsened with the recent destruction of Sesame Bridge, connecting Gokwe North and Gokwe South Districts, and the collapse of Pokwe Bridge linking Gokwe South District and Defe. These incidents have left villagers stranded and hampered access to Gokwe South, a major business center in the region.

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