Government yesterday warned people against crossing flooded rivers following a number of incidents of people being swept away or marooned.
In a statement, Local Government and Public Works Acting Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere implored citizens to be cautions and exercise patience by avoiding crossing flooded rivers.
“I would like to urge all citizens to desist from crossing flooded rivers and bridges especially during this rainy season which has been characterised by incessant numerous incidents and activated rescue efforts where citizens tried to cross flooded rivers and were marooned across the country,” said Minister Muswere.
He said there were several incidents of people swept away and paid tribute to various institutions for providing rescue operations.
“The Ministry would like to proffer the appreciation and gratitude to the various partners who immediately contributed in the rescue efforts namely the Airforce of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe National Army, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and Honourable Members of Parliament for Chiredzi North (Cde Roy Bhila) and Chiredzi West (Cde Farai Musikavanhu), Tongaat Hullet, the media, local leadership and members of the community. Your hard work, dedication and team work is unparalleled,” said Minister Muswere.
“Furthermore we implore all stakeholders, parliamentarians, councillors, traditional leaders and Civil Protection structures to intensify education awareness initiatives to empower citizens with the requisite information on the dangers of crossing flooded rivers.
“Accordingly, as the downpours remain unabated we appeal to all citizens to be cautious and stop crossing flooded rivers and bridges.
“Be patient and stay at home. We care for you.”
The country has been receiving significant amounts of rains that have seen some rivers flooding and sweeping up bridges.
At least seven people were rescued last Friday by the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) while four others are feared dead after being marooned at the confluence of the Tokwe and Runde rivers in Chiredzi following a sudden spilling of a weir upstream.
Those rescued are a woman and her three daughters whose other two children were sadly swept away and the police sub-aqua unit is still searching for them. Others who are missing are Kundai Chikwava (18) and her 11 month-old daughter Shantell Hungwe.
After rescuing the four, the helicopter was sent to pick up three men trapped in the Runde in the Shindi area of Chivi.
Last month, three people were killed when a pirate taxi they were travelling in was swept away by a flooded river in Zvishavane.
Police identified the three as Tariro Makwa (24), Aneno Manduku (39) and Gertrude Mudhonga (9
Midlands Police spokesperson, Inspector Ethel Mukwende said the pirate taxi, a Toyota Noah, had 10 people on board, when the driver tried to cross the flooded river.
Asst Insp Mukwende said the driver attempted to cross the flooded river, resulting in the car being swept away with the 10 people on board