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CPU roped into retrieving body of local tourist who fell into Vic Falls gorge

By Patrick Chitumba

Government has activated Civil Protection structures in Victoria Falls in a bid to gather all required expertise and machinery to assist in retrieving dismembered body parts believed to be of a 40-year-old Harare man who fell into a gorge at the Victoria Falls Rainforest on New Year’s Day.

Rescuers comprising rafting guides who usually lead search teams for bodies that drown in Victoria Falls spotted the body of Roy Dikinya (40) of Harare Saturday but failed to reach it.The body parts believed to be of Roy Dikinya who fell into the gorge were found over the weekend but efforts by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) rangers, the police and tour and adventure companies in the resort town of Victoria Falls to retrieve them have been futile.

Dikinya slipped and fell from one of the viewing points of the Victoria Falls.

The body parts are trapped between the rocks down the gorge.

In a statement yesterday, Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said the precarious location of the remains have hampered progress.

“We remain determined to see the decent closure to this tragic incident, and in this respect wish to update that we have now activated the Civil Protection structures.

“Based on the current efforts we believe we should be able to get the relevant equipment, of which based on expert assessment, we believe only one mine has such in Matabeleland South, on site by tomorrow (today). I appeal to any other company which may have suitable equipment to come forward and assist,” he said.

Minister Ndlovu said this is a rare, tragic and unfortunate incident to be witnessed at the Mighty Victoria Falls over the years. He extended Government’s condolences to the Dikinya family following the tragedy.

The Minister said all necessary precautions will be taken to guard against recurrence of such an unfortunate incident.

“Indeed, Victoria Falls, like other tourist resorts should be a place for relaxation and merry making. This isolated incident is therefore sincerely regretted,” he said.

Minister Ndlovu acknowledged the efforts by the uniformed forces, ZimParks and tourism players in Victoria Falls in trying to retrieve Dikinya’s remains.

“We acknowledge the efforts by Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the ZimParks assisted by other private sector players in Victoria Falls to try to retrieve the remains which we believe are of the deceased.

“However, the precarious location of the remains has hampered progress. I once again wish to express my sincere condolences to the families affected,” he said. The Chronicle