By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
A PHYSICAL fitness instructor with the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Tafadzwa Mashingaidze, has been identified as one of the five people who drowned when a boat they were sailing in capsized Friday.
The incident occurred around 4 am when the vessel hit turbulent waters, stirred by strong winds, near Ndomo fishing camp.
Sources told NewZimbabwe.com, Mashingaidze was in the company of his two unidentified ZNA workmates, and five others when tragedy struck at dawn.
The police subaqua unit, ZNA Boat Squadron, with the help of locals, Friday managed to retrieve the body of a woman believed to be a fish dealer.
Mashingaidze’s body and the remains of three others feared dead are yet to be recovered.
The boat’s coxswain, Clever Muvengwa told NewZimbabwe.com the mishap occurred when the boat was hit by a heavy water current.
“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,” he said.
“I and two of the soldiers held onto life jackets which is why we survived. Tafadzwa (Mashingaidze) and a local woman whom l only know as Fay, as well as Noah Mwindo who was holding his child and another male adult, all drowned.”
Mashingaidze’s relatives had by Saturday afternoon gathered at Chinhoyi’s Chitambo suburb waiting for updates from government authorities.
Said a relative who requested anonymity: “We are cork sure he was on that boat as he communicated when they set on the sail. We have lost a breadwinner, whose wife and children still looked up to him. He was a very fine young soldier.”
The search for the missing four bodies was still in progress by the time of publishing.
According to reports, divers reached depths of over 30 metres, without a trace of the four missing persons.
Efforts by NewZimbabwe.com to get comments from police and ZNA proved fruitless.