Heartbroken father sues council after teenage son drowns in pit
A Bulawayo man whose 15- year-old son fell and drowned in a pit dug by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) workers in Pumula South suburb in January last year, has taken the municipality to court.
Mr Oswell Chipuramura from Pumula South suburb whose son Tinashe drowned in the pit is blaming the council for the tragic death.
“The pits are more than two metres deep and the fact that they are in close proximity to our residence and in a path used by children on their way to school depicts a great degree of negligence on the part of BCC,” he said
Mr Chipuramura said residents engaged Ward 27 councillor Mr Siboniso Khumalo before the death of his son and signs were then erected and one of the pits was only closed after the death of his son.
The director of Engineering Services, Simela Dube representing council on Friday appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube charged with culpable homicide.
Dube pleaded not guilty to the charge and Mr Ncube remanded the matter to January 16 for continuation of trial.
Prosecuting, Mrs Charity Nyathi said sometime in 1995 the BCC left open a pit which is about five metres deep.
“The pit accumulated water during the rainy season. The council did not fence or put a prohibition sign within the site to warn the public of the danger. The BCC did not have Environmental Management Plan for the area as per requirement by Environmental Management Agency,” she said.
“On January 4, 2017 Tinashe Chipuramura who was in the company of his young brother Tendai Chipuramura fell into the pit while washing his hands and he drowned as a result.
Tinashe’s body was retrieved from the pool by Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance service firefighters.