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15-year-old girl electrocuted in Harare suburb after stepping on water

HARARE – A 15-year-old girl was electrocuted while attempting to retrieve her slides lost in flowing water in Harare’s Warren Park suburb, police said on Wednesday.

The incident took place at around 7PM on Tuesday as Anotida Tendai Mazadza was walking home with two friends.

Residents in the suburb said they feared a damaged underground ZESA cable was responsible. ZESA said it has sent engineers to investigate.

National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “The ZRP reports a sad incident in which a 15-year-old female juvenile was electrocuted while walking barefooted in flowing water as she tried to retrieve her sandals which had been swept away in Warren Park 1. Investigations are underway.”

Anotida’s friend, who identified herself only as Anesu, told ZimLive that as they were walking home shortly after it rained, the teenager suddenly made a shrieking noise and cried out for help.

“She said ‘ndakufa guys, I’m dying please help me’,” Anesu remembers.

The two friends tried to pull her out but beat a hasty retreat after they felt an electric shock.

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) spokesman Prosper Mutswiri said a team of engineers had been dispatched to the scene to establish what happened.

“We will issue details of what transpired after a thorough investigation is completed,” he said.

Neighbours said some four years ago, the City of Harare allocated an infill stand to a man who, while digging his foundation, damaged armoured ZESA cables, knocking power out for three months in the area. The residents believe ZESA never properly fixed the cables, leading to the tragedy.

Ward 15 councillor Tichaona Mhetu told ZimLive: “It’s regrettable to see this happening. Since 2017, that area has been a cause for concern. I did everything to stop construction, and everything was halted.”

Enia Murove, a resident, said it was not uncommon to hear the sound of sparks during the night, which she suspects is made by exposed cables coming into contact with water.

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