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Matobo boy drowns while swimming with friends

An 11-year-old boy from ward 1, Kafusi area in Matobo South drowned on Saturday afternoon after a swimming expedition with friends along Kafusi river.

Clement Ndlovu was in the company of his friends went the tragedy struck.

His body was recovered 24 hours later by community members as the rescue divers failed to respond to the distress calls citing diesel shortages.

Matabeleland South Provincial Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the incident.

“Yes, we received the news of a 11-year-old Clement Ndlovu from Kafusi village under Chief Nyangazonke who drowned in a pool around 1pm on the 1st of December,” said Ndebele.

“The deceased was in the company on his friends aged 11 and 15 and they were swimming when he drowned.

“His friends tried to save him but they failed, they then ran home to notify the elders about the incident but they also failed to rescue him,” he said.

Chief Inspector Ndebele urged parents to ensure their children do not play near water bodies as the rainly season had commenced.

“As the police we would like to urge adults to take care of their children especially now that it’s the rainy season. We also appeal to drivers to not cross flooded rivers,” said Ndebele.

In an interview with CITE, a member of the Matobo Disaster, Risk and Reduction committee, Lovemore Ncube said deceased’s body was retrieved on Tuesday morning.

“This child drowned on Sunday while swimming with his friends. Villagers failed to rescue him as the area is deep.

“We contacted the police but they also failed to rescue him,” said Ncube.

He said police divers were contacted but reportedly could not respond on time due to transport challenges.

“People also tried to contact police divers but they said they had no fuel and these people are supposed to come from Bulawayo,” said Ncube.

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