By Chitownews citizen reporter- Mjamaru.
The home made and poorly constructed bridge on the Nyatsime river behind the Chitungwiza Industrial area which serves as the only road linking the informal settlements of Nyatsime, and Dunnotar with Chitungwiza has further confirmed its ‘death-trap’ status when it claimed another life on Monday evening when a man was swept away while trying to cross the river using the submerged bridge.
Monday’s victim becomes the fourth fatality in four years since the bridge was constructed in 2012 by a pressure group representing homeseekers swindled by former Chitungwiza town clerk- Tendai Tanyanyiwa and illegal land barons. The pressure group went on to use the access provided by the bridge to self-allocate stands across the river, pioneering the peri-urban settlements.
According to shocked eyewitnesses who contacted Chitownews, the raging flood waters which regularly overflow the ramshackle bridge without warning suddenly surged while the hapless man was midstream and swept the unidentified man away.
His shrill screams for help went unanswered as no one volunteered to rescue him. The incident happened around 1830 hours on Monday evening and the fading daylight hampered any attempts to search for the missing man.
The history of the bridge is warped in controversy as homeseekers allocated stands by the Nyatsime Housing Development Association were required to pay a contribution of US$300 towards the construction of the bridge and a total of US$78 000 for that purpose.
Residents allege that the money was embezzled by the leaders of the housing association who went on to use a fraction of that amount to construct a small one-way bridge which becomes impassable with the onset of the rains.
Fears of more deaths by drowning have been exarcebated by the opening of schools this week as most schoolchildren in Nyatsime and dunnotar attend school in Chitungwiza.
When Chitownews visited the bridge the following morning (Tuesday), it was business as usual as motorists tried to cross the flooded river disregarding warnings that a someone had drowned the previous night.