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Closure To Kariba Boat Tragedy As Bodies Of All 5 Victims Are Found

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

THREE bodies of five victims who drowned when their boat capsized were found Wednesday floating in Lake Kariba.
First to be recovered yesterday was the body of Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) soldier, Tafadzwa Mashingaidze, which was found in the morning, before the remains of an unidentified male adult were spotted around dusk.
Another male adult, Noah Mwinde’s body was recovered around 10 pm as the search went well into the night, sources told NewZimbabwe.com.
This effectively puts closure to the long-drawn search mission by a team comprised of the police Sub Aqua Unit, ZNA Boat Squadron, parks authorities, and locals.
Mashingaidze, who was a physical fitness instructor with ZNA, met his demise, along with four others, last Friday after a boat they were sailing in capsized.
A relative who requested anonymity confirmed Mashingaidze’s remains had been discovered.
“His body has been retrieved from deep waters of Lake Kariba. As a family we pay tribute to the ZNA, police, and parks authorities as well as local people who sustained efforts to locate his remains to bring closure to the unfortunate incident,” the relative told NewZimbabwe.com.
The recovery of the three bodies on Wednesday brings the number of retrieved bodies to five.
A female fish dealer, Ziya Kusena’s body was first to be recovered on the day of the tragedy, followed by Mwinde’s four-year-old son Obey on Monday morning.
The search for the last missing person continues.
According to reports, divers reached depths of over 30 meters, without a trace of the missing body.
The tragedy occurred last Friday around 4 am when the vessel hit turbulent waters, stirred by strong winds, near Ndomo fishing camp.
Sources told NewZimbabwe.com, the vessel was carrying eight people and baggage that included fish when tragedy struck.
The boat’s coxswain, Clever Muvengwa said the mishap occurred when the boat encountered heavy water currents.
“We were eight of us on the boat. Tragedy struck when a high wave hit us and water started flooding the boat which immediately went underwater.
“Myself and two of the soldiers held onto life jackets which is how we survived,” said Muvengwa.
Mashingaidze’s body was conveyed to his rural home at Magunje for burial Thursday.