UNDETTERED Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education officials continued to search for their missing colleague whose vehicle was swept away in heavy rains on Monday and ended up finding the body yesterday after police had called off the search.
Mr Richard Nyandoro, an Education Ministry accountant was travelling with Ms Samukeliso Dlamini, who was the Gwanda District Schools Inspector (DSI) when their vehicle was swept away following heavy rains on Monday evening at Mamsisi River Bridge in Ntalale Ward, Gwanda South.
Their vehicle was found by villagers on Tuesday morning along the river about 200 metres from the bridge lying on its roof.
Ms Dlamini’s body was recovered on Wednesday at around 6PM in a dam about eight kilometres from the bridge where the incident occurred as they were driving from Ntalale where they had gone on duty.
Since Monday efforts to locate Mr Nyandoro had been fruitless.
The police sub aqua unit from Bulawayo decided to abandon the search on Thursday at around 6PM after a two day search.
Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director Mr Lifias Masukume said a team comprising Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education officials, Gwanda Assistant District Administrator, community members and Nyandoro’s relatives continued with the search yesterday morning which led to recovery of the body.
A Ministry official found the body on the edge of the Mhenebolamba Dam.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele said police were called to the scene.
“I can confirm that the body which was still missing has been found at the dam. Police have been alerted to attend the scene, “he said.
Ntalale Ward councillor, Mr Coster Ndlovu who spent the whole day on Thursday at the scene said police called off the search at around 6PM.
He said the sub aqua team advised villagers to visit the nearest police station if anything arose.
“I spent the whole day at the scene where the sub aqua team was conducting the search. They searched the entire dam but found nothing. As villagers we ended searching from the dam going back to the bridge where we had started.
“The sub aqua team told us that they were calling off the search as they had done their best without luck. They told villagers to visit Guyu Police Station once we discovered anything and then they will be summoned. They also tasked us as community leaders to mobilise community members to continue with the search, “he said.
Meanwhile, teachers have bemoaned the death of their colleague, Ms Dlamini.
The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer, Mr Sifiso Ndlovu, said it is sad that the Ministry lost the only female DSI in the province at a time when Government is advocating for gender balance through putting women in decision-making positions.
“This loss came as a blow to both Government and us because we have lost a hardworking woman who had put women on the map. This is a time when Government is advocating for gender balance through women empowerment,” he said.
Mr Ndlovu said it is the union’s desire to see more women in the Ministry taking up leadership positions.
“Ms Dlamini was a dedicated worker and l believe this incident caught her by surprise. I encourage my colleagues that as we are carrying our professional duties let’s be careful about our lives. Life lost cannot be compensated,” he said.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president, Dr Takavafira Zhou said the fact that the two met their fate on duty makes them academic heroes.
“We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and the education fraternity at large. Their loss is our loss and their untimely death has robbed the education sector and the nation of dedicated cadres,” said Dr Zhou.