TWO Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education officials from Matabeleland South Province are feared dead after a vehicle they were travelling in was swept away by a flooded river.
Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director Mr Lifias Masukume said the incident happened on Monday evening at Mamsisi River bridge in Ntalale, Gwanda South. A search is underway to locate them.
Mr Masukume said Samukeliso Dlamini, who is the Gwanda District Schools Inspector and a Ministry accountant who was only identified as Mr Nyandoro were on their way from Ntalale when the incident occurred.
“I can confirm that there is a vehicle of ours that was swept away by flood waters on Monday evening. The occupants of the vehicle were Samukeliso Dlamini who is the Gwanda DSI and Mr Nyandoro who is an accountant. As of now we don’t know if they are alive or dead because their bodies haven’t been found but a search for them is underway.
“We have alerted the Provincial Administrator who is also the chairperson of the Civil Protection Unit Committee and they have also deployed a team on the ground to investigate. All we can do for now is sit and wait for an update but we are praying for a miracle. Dlamini and Nyandoro had gone to Ntalale to carry out their duties and it seems it started raining while they were on their way back to Gwanda Town,” Mr Masukume said.
Ntalale Ward councillor Coster Ndlovu said the vehicle was found yesterday morning in Mamsisi River, about 200 metres from the bridge it attempted to cross.
He said their area received heavy rains on Monday which left rivers flooded.
Cllr Ndlovu said the vehicle was swept away and was found by villagers.
“Villagers found a vehicle that had been swept away yesterday morning. When I got to the scene, I found the vehicle lying on its roof about 200 metres from the bridge. The occupants of the vehicle were nowhere to be seen but I suspect they were swept away by the river because the water level was quite high.
“We received rains at around 8PM on Monday and it seems these people who were in the car tried to cross the flooded river and their vehicle was swept away. By afternoon all the water had flowed away and the vehicle which was partly buried beneath the sand was fully visible. As I speak to you I’m at the scene and there is no water in the river, it has all flowed away,” he said.
Clr Ndlovu said the incident had left villagers shocked as they were eagerly awaiting the rains but they were now claiming lives.