By Whinsley Masara and Andile Tshuma
A National University of Science and Technology (Nust) student drowned in the Zambezi River in Binga while allegedly trying to save his girlfriend during a Seventh Day Adventist Church youth camp.
Muzi Tshuma (22), a second year student at Nust drowned while swimming with a group of youths on Wednesday.
The incident occurred at around 2PM in the Zambezi River near Binga centre.
A source at the camp said church leaders had warned the more than 3 000 youths not to get into the water but Tshuma and some friends decided to go for a swim.
“He went into the water trying to save his girlfriend (name withheld) who appeared to be drowning. The girl survived but he went under. The police sub-aqua unit was only able to retrieve his body today (yesterday) after almost 24 hours,” said the source.
The youths are in Binga for a week long annual conference which kicked off last Sunday. “We had been divided into several groups which all set out to different places to engage in recreational activities. Others went for a boat cruise and hiking.
“The other youths who witnessed the drowning had to be attended to by nurses and counsellors to calm them down as they were shocked by the incident,” said the source.
Binga District Administrator, Mrs Lydia Ndethi-Banda, said the body was retrieved at around 1 PM by a sub-aqua team that arrived in the district on Wednesday night.
“The SDA youths are camped at Binga High School. He (Tshuma) was swimming with his friends when he drowned and the body has just been retrieved,” said Mrs Ndethi-Banda yesterday afternoon.
Sources said his father, Phanson Tshuma, who is the headmaster of Solusi Adventist High School, had been informed of the tragic news. They said he had since arrived in Binga from his rural home.
Nust director of information and publicity, Felix Moyo said the university had been informed of the drowning.
“We’ve received information that one of our students drowned in Binga,” said Mr Moyo.
A comment could not be obtained from the church’s head office as they are closed for holidays.
Due to increasing drowning incidents, police have constantly urged people not to play in or near water bodies.
In a statement recently, national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said cases of drowning normally increase during the rainy season.
“Members of the public should desist from swimming or playing near water bodies. We discourage the public from attempting to cross flooded rivers as they risk drowning or being attacked by crocodiles,” said the police spokesperson. The Chronicle