Siavonga 26 October 2014 ZANIS —- Eight out of the 26 bodies feared dead have been retrieved from Lake Kariba by broadcast time when the boat they were in capsized on Friday.
Republican Vice President Dr Guy Scot, Kabwata Member of Parliament Given Lubinda, Inspector General of Police, Siavonga District Commissioner and several senior government officials have visited the deceased victims’ families in Henga and Kaleleji in Gwembe district in Southern Province.
Dr. Scott has however assured the nation that government will do everything possible to lessen the pain that the bereaved families have gone through.
ZANIS reports that Dr Scott said this when he addressed the bereaved families in Kaleleji that government has provided food and tents will be supplied to the mourners who are still waiting for the bodies to be retrieved from Lake Kariba.
He expressed his deep sympathy with the bereaved families for the loss of 26 people out of which the majority were School children.
The Vice President said the accident has served as eye opener to ensure that in future better water transport is provided to the people living along Lake Kariba.
“ I am sorry even the provision of better transport will not help to bring back your beloved ones and I hope we can have a burial and I hope I can come to it,” Dr Scot said.
And Mr. Lubinda said the tragedy that has befallen the people of Henga and Kaleleji is for the entire country.
He advised mourners to be united with government in mourning the death of the children and asked for God’s guidance to prevail in the trying moment for the people of Gwembe.
On Saturday Afternoon Police Inspector General Stella Libongani confirmed that two bodies were retrieved from the Lake and the divers will continue to search for the remaining bodies.
But later in the evening the divers retrieved one body bringing the number to four including the body of the babe which was retrieved on the same day on Friday when the incident happened.
And Gwembe Kole ward Councilor Osward Moonga has thanked government for coming to the aid of the bereaved families and asked the people to pray together for government to continue to help them.
The Councilor appealed for reliable boats to be provided for people who live along the Lake shore.
Disaster Management Unit and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) Coordinator Patrick Kangwa said the divers would continue searching for seven days until the all the bodies were found and after that they will be advised.
Henga Head teacher Bright Malambo said his pupils were on the boat on the journey to join their friends in Kaleleji to celebrate the country’ 50 th Golden Jubilee.
He said the pupils started at 07:00 hours in the company of a Community School teacher who was on another boat but entrusted the other boat that had 34 pupils including two elderly women in the care of pupils.
Mr. Malambo said the boat had pupils who most of them were in grade one and six while four grade seven that already wrote their examinations accompanied their friends.
He explained that while the boat capsized the community teacher who was in the other boat told the bigger boys to hold on to the boat while he offloads the other boat which had other pupils.
But the children later became scared, let off the boat to capsized and sank together with it Out of the 34 people in the boat only eight pupils managed to survive while 26 drowned.