Wednesday January 11 2016 will remain an unforgettable day for people of Mwanza as a downpour that fell in the district caused Mwanza River to flood, washing away two saloon vehicles and killing two people.
The incident happened on Mwanza Bridge near the border with Mozambique.
Two dead bodies, an unidentified man and woman, have since been found separately in the river—as at 5pm yesterday—while one car has since been recovered.
Mwanza district commissioner Jack Ngulube and Mwanza Police Station spokesperson Edwin Kaunda yesterday confirmed the incident, saying most of the rains that caused flooding of the river fell in upper Mwanza, around Kunenekude area and the vehicles, operating as taxis, met their fate while crossing Mwanza Bridge.
“Since the beginning of the current rainy season, this is the heaviest amount of rains which we have received so far. However, right at Mwanza , the rainfall was just normal but since it was heavy on the upper side, it came with force to the lower side of Mwanza, hence the flooding,” Ngulube said in a telephone interview yesterday.
According to Kaunda, the rains started around 6pm and it was around 9pm when police received a message that an accident had happened at Mwanza Bridge where flooding washed away vehicles. He said the incident might have happened between 7pm and 8pm.
“We rushed to the scene where we found one vehicle which was trapped by trees near the bridge. The driver got out without difficulties and told us he was travelling alone.
“However, we believe that the second vehicle, apart from carrying the two people whose dead bodies have been recovered, had other passengers on board. Officers are still on the ground conducting a search of the vehicle and the suspected passengers and the driver,” said Kaunda.
The police have since advised people travelling on the road section to the bridge to be cautious as the rains have narrowed the road, thereby making it impossible for two vehicles to pass each other.
Kaunda also said the best way to drive on the spot would be to give each other right of way to avoid forcing the driver on the other side of the road to fall into a ditch that has been created.
In another development, a 38-year-old woman and her three-year-old son, both from Kharumeya Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Juma in Mulanje, were struck by lightning on Wednesday just a few minutes after they had returned from a maize mill.
According to Mulanje Police Station spokesperson Gresham Ngwira, the woman, Edina Matola and her son, were rushed to Namulenga Health Centre where death was confirmed. n