Nine-year-old drowns in disused pit

A nine-year-old boy from Cowdray Park drowned and died on Monday while he was playing with his friend at an open pit behind the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) sewer works.

He has been identified as Prince Kapito and he was buried yesterday.

Prince was a grade three learner at Milton Junior School.

The police are investigating the incident.

“On 12 December 2022 at around 1400 hours, the now deceased went to an open pit which is behind the Bulawayo City Council sewer system in Cowdray park, Bulawayo intending to swim with his friends. As the now-deceased and his friends were swimming, the now-deceased drowned and his friends panicked and ran away. On the same date at around 1500 hours, a report of a child who had drowned in the disused pit was made to the police,” said acting Bulawayo police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele.

“ZRP Sub Aqua and Bulawayo Fire Brigade retrieved the body after a thorough search. The now deceased’s clothes were found approximately 3 meters away from the edges of the disused pit. The pit is about 10 metres deep. The body was ferried to united Bulawayo hospitals for post-mortem.”

Speaking to CITE, his father Trust Kapito said the incident happened while he was at work.

“I was told that he went to play with his friend at some place famously known as the ponds near Empompini, so when they got there they discovered that there were some sweets by those open pits. My child ate one sweet while his friend threw the other sweet in the water,” said Kapito.

He said after eating the sweet, Prince then went in the water to get the other sweet.

“After eating it, my son said the sweet was nice and he dived in the water to get the other sweet .”

Kapito said his son drowned while trying to get the sweet.

“Those pits look shallow but there is another place which is deep and a child cannot really survive in that place, so his friend tried to help him when he saw him drowning but he couldn’t,” he said.

Kapito said the friend ran home to alert his parents.

“That place looks like a shrine where people get initiated for ‘Amadlozi’ because you find black, red pieces of cloth,” said Kapito.

In 2021, two boys drowned after they decided to go swimming in a disused five-metre dip pit on their way back from school.

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