Story by John Nhandara
A dark cloud has engulfed the Ndhlala family in Mayambara Village of Seke after three children of the same family drowned in a water-logged pit, which developed due to sand poaching activities.
A firewood fetching escapade ended in tragedy for the family when, unbeknown to her and her family, Gogo Ndhlala called her two granddaughters and grandson to accompany her to fetch firewood, and that is the last day she saw three of them alive.
When the ZBC News visited the family home in Seke this Wednesday, Gogo Ndhlala struggled to hold back her tears as she narrated the incident.
“We went to fetch firewood. I asked my grandsons and daughters to look for a rope to tie our firewood. That’s when they went into the pool and drowned. I was alerted by this other grandson of mine who was accompanying the three. I jumped into the water to save my granddaughter whom I saw drowning, but failed,” she narrated.
Traumatised by the tragedy is 12-year-old Macdonald Madamombe who watched helplessly as his siblings breathed their last.
“They went into the pool trying to swim and they drowned. I then rushed to alert my grandmother,” he said.
Family spokesperson, Mr Tapera Ndhlala blamed sand abstractors in the area for being responsible of the open pits, which are exposing both humans and livestock to danger.
“This is where our kids perished and we call upon relevant authorities to look into the issue of sand poachers who are causing this. This is not the first time we are witnessing this tragedy,” he noted.
Zimbabwe Republic Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed that the deceased are Blessing Ndhlala aged 15, Stephen Masure (12) and 9-year-old Queentin Madamombe.
They will be buried in Seke on Friday.