By Whinsley Masara
Two women from Binga drowned in the Zambezi River after their boat capsized during a hippopotamus attack while they were fishing.
Gladys Munkombwe (43) of Kadika Village and Mufutuli Mudenda (23) of Zambezi village, both under Chief Saba drowned at a spot that is about 13 metres deep in Simatelele along the Zambezi River at around 7AM on Thursday.
While fishing, a hippopotamus charged at the two women and hit their boat and it capsized, throwing them into the water and they drowned.
Chief Saba said the unfortunate incident occurred while the two women were casting their nets from their fibre boats.
“It is during that time that a hippopotamus that was underwater charged and hit the fibre boat causing it to capsize leading to their drowning.
“One villager, Mr Joshua Nyathi of Siamuloba village, heard the loud noise during the attack and called out to another fisherman, who was close to his spot. Together they rushed to the scene and tried to search for the victims,” he said.
After they failed to locate them, the two men called other villagers whom they teamed up with and searched for the bodies.
They managed to retrieve one body while the other one was retrieved by police from Bulawayo province.
“They found Munkombwe, whom they retrieved. Mudenda’s body was nowhere to be found and a report was made to the police.
“Bulawayo Sub Aqua from Fairbridge Support Unit was engaged for assistance and the body was retrieved the following day,” he said.
Chief Saba expressed concern over the increasing cases of drowning in his area.
He said on the same day the women drowned, five other men were thrown into Mlibizi River during another hippopotamus attack.
“Luckily, they could swim, and they swam out of the river,” he said. The Chronicle