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Villagers Call For Cleansing Of Bubi-Lupane Dam As Drowning Cases Multiply

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


LUPANE villagers in Matabeleland North province have implored traditional leaders in the area to cleanse Bubi-Lupane dam following an increase in the number of locals who have drowned in the dam while fishing.

Bubi-Lupane dam supplies water to Lupane Centre and surrounding villages and was commissioned in June 2012 by the now late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

However, locals claim since the dam’s commissioning, several people have drowned while fishing with the latest victim being a 26-year-old man, Spencer Mguni who was swept away a week ago after a homemade canoe he was using with a colleague capsized.

“A young man, Spencer Mguni drowned on Sunday last week after a canoe which he and a colleague were using for fishing capsized. The colleague managed to swim offshore and narrated to the elders what had happened,” said Permanent Sibanda, secretary for Lupane Business Association Trust in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com.

Sibanda noted that in June and July each year, the dam claims a victim or two, a development which has prompted the residents to enlist the services of traditional leaders.

“I think before the commissioning of the dam, cultural rituals were supposed to have been carried out first because the dam was constructed on people’s graves, homesteads and fields. We strongly believe this is why lives are being lost especially every winter,” said Sibanda.

Mguni’s body was retrieved from the dam by the police’s sub-aqua unit last week Tuesday following two days of night vigils at the site by the local villagers.