A GRADE 4 Tomlison Primary School pupil was severely burnt yesterday after falling into a ditch with naked Zesa power cables. The cables were left unsecured by workers who were carrying out maintenance work three months ago at the Corner of Samora Machel Avenue and Leitrim Crescent in Eastlea, Harare.
The incident occurred around 11am. Takudzwa Nyandoro (10) of Eastlea was reportedly playing outside their neigbhour’s house when he slipped into the ditch.
He sustained severe burns all over and had three fingers on the right hand cut off by the high voltage.
Takudzwa was taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital where he is admitted. His mother Ms Constance Sinachinge said:
“I was at work when I received a phone call from his brother informing me that Takudzwa was involved in an accident.”
Ms Sinachinge said Zesa workers were sleeping on duty. “Zesa must be serious and is accountable to what befell my child. They need to know that children are uncontrollable when it comes to playgrounds. They visit a lot of places unaware of the dangers in those areas,” she said.
Harare provincial police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau yesterday said they had attended to such a case in Eastlea.
“I have not yet received the report but policemen who attended the scene are still gathering more information,” said Insp Sabau.
A neighbour, who only identified herself as Ms Hassig, blamed Zesa electricians for failing to properly secure the cables and the ditch.
“I do not know what happened, but the only thing that l heard was commotion with people yelling. I got out of my house after I received a call from my niece who just came with an ambulance.
“I also called Mabvuku Zesa department to switch off the main lines so that people could attend to the boy. We alerted them a long time ago but they did not attend to the unfinished work,” she said.
She said the guava tree at her house where the incident happened drew the attention of many children.
“I noted the danger associated with the hanging branches and decided to cut them off to avert this kind of danger,” said Ms Hassig.
Mr Victor Tokwe, a vendor, said that he first saw two boys eating some guavas and after a short time there were screams from the direction of the ditch.
Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira could not be reached for comment yesterday. This is not the first time such an incident has occurred.
Last year, a commuter omnibus conductor was electrocuted after he and a passenger fell into a ditch with live cables during a scuffle over R5 change in Mbare.
A Sunningdale woman was also burnt when she fell in a ditch with unsecured power cables on her way from church.
There are numerous reported cases of power cables that are left unsecured. HERALD