Students recount sleeping with corpses #CycloneIdai

Students recount sleeping with corpses #CycloneIdai
Published: 20 March 2019 (124 Views)
A SOMBRE atmosphere engulfed Paradise Park in Marondera yesterday during the burial of one of the students from St Charles Lwanga High School, Munashe Jena, who succumbed to Cyclone Idai-induced injuries in Chimanimani on Friday.

It was not a narrative for the faint-hearted, as some of the students who travelled to Marondera to bid farewell to one of theirs recounted how they spent three days with their colleagues' corpses in the classroom, waiting for the government rescue teams to take them to safety.

It all started on Friday night when a rockfall hit their dining hall, killing a security guard instantly before landing on the dormitory in which Jena and other boys were sleeping.

According to the students, it happened so fast and one of the deceased was hit by a chunk of glass from the window pane as disaster struck.

One of the students at the funeral still had muddy shoes, a sign that he was, indeed, coming from a difficult situation.

The chilling moment came when the boys narrated how the bodies were placed in the Form 1 classroom as they waited to be rescued.

"After retrieving the bodies, they were placed in a classroom as we waited for rescue. It was terrible and scary. The bodies were lying in the classrooms covered with blankets," one of the students, who was visibly traumatised, recounted.

The students, after realising that there was no rescue for almost three days, embarked on an uncertain journey to Skyline for safety.

They recounted that some villagers and the boarding master made some makeshift coffins to ferry the corpses to safety.

"Some villagers and the boarding master then made some makeshift coffins to ferry the corpses of our colleagues. We went ahead, at night, not knowing where we were placing our feet. It was gambling, any mistake one would slip and that would have been the end. The road, the terrain was dangerous. The villagers and boarding master were behind us with the bodies, dicing with death as they manoeuvred their way to the nearest rescue point, at Skyline," one student narrated.

"That was the only option. We couldn't remain at the school for long since we were now certain that no rescue would come our way. If we had remained there, it would have gotten worse, we were confused. We made it to Skyline before the police took the bodies to Chipinge."

The school guard was buried in the same area where he hails from.

Jena, a Form 1 student had joined the school on February 6 after his parents had transferred him form another school to the Catholic-run institution, which is regarded as one of the best in the country.

The students, however, bemoaned the treatment they got from army officers, who mistreated them upon arrival to safety.

"When we arrived at Skyline, the soldiers who were there said they were not in a position to assist us since they had come to clear the road. It was only after we threatened to proceed on our own that they agreed to ferry us to a safer destination. One of our teachers almost got manhandled by the soldiers as he argued that we needed assistance," the student said.

The trauma of the students worsened as people, including authorities, jostled to take them photographs, while some falsely claimed credit for rescuing them.

"We made it on our own to Skyline. No one helped us. Some were taking pictures of us. It was disturbing," another student said.

The two deceased students were wrapped in blankets provided by the boarding master.

Scores of Marondera residents thronged Paradise Park Cemetery to bid farewell to young Jena who was laid to rest yesterday.

His body arrived on Monday night before burial was fast-tracked, since it was in a bad state.

According to his relatives, it was not an easy task to fetch Jena's body, but said they were glad that finally he was laid to rest.

The burial was attended by acting provincial administrator Clemence Masawi, students from St Charles Lwanga, Marondera mayor Chengetai Murowa, Chief Makoni and civil servants, among others.

At least 100 people reportedly died while several others are still missing in the wake of the cyclone which made landfall in neighbouring Mozambique.

Government yesterday advised relatives of the deceased to go ahead and bury the bodies to avoid decomposition as mortuaries in the district were dysfunctional following extensive destruction of the power supply system throughout Chimanimani.

St Charles Lwanga High School students arrived in Mutare on Monday night, where they received counselling before being reunited with their families.

- newsday

Tags: Students, Cyclone, Idai,
 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Prophet Makandiwa mansion raises eyebrows

by Staff Reporter | 22 July 2019 | 65 Views

Exposed Ramaphosa reacts to Public Protector's report

by Staff Reporter | 22 July 2019 | 41 Views

UCE graduation ceremony

by Dr. A. Luthuli | 22 July 2019 | 45 Views

ZERA looking to remote fuel monitoring system

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2019 | 46 Views

The corruption commission

by Clemen Moyo | 22 July 2019 | 56 Views

Government speaks on Auxilia Mnangagwa - Army fallout

by Mandla Ndlovu | 21 July 2019 | 195 Views

Chinamasa's world up in flames

by Mandla Ndlovu | 21 July 2019 | 176 Views

Teachers to shutdown schools on Monday

by Mandla Ndlovu | 21 July 2019 | 153 Views

Zimbabwe govt licenses companies for riverbank mining

by Staff Reporter | 21 July 2019 | 100 Views

ZCTU proceeds with demo preps

by newzimbabwe | 21 July 2019 | 148 Views

Mnangagwa pledges support for women's projects

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 90 Views

Mthuli Ncube needs to work his magic on inflation

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 116 Views

'The electorate believes in Zanu-PF'

by STaff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 95 Views

Mnangagwa gets Sadc boost

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 103 Views

Power shortage hits mobile phone services

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 79 Views

City fathers or city dealers at council chambers?

by Limukani Ncube | 21 July 2019 | 89 Views

Bulawayo residents call for dissolution of council

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 82 Views

Nust bursar suspended

by Staff reportet | 21 July 2019 | 82 Views

Mid-air scare for fastjet passengers

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 79 Views

Exploring the causes of Gukurahundi

by Dr Obert Mpofu | 21 July 2019 | 108 Views

Lobels shut down Bulawayo plant again

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 97 Views

Harare demands 30-year-old debt from Zesa

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 77 Views

Kalanga lobby group to produce textbooks

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 75 Views

Govt moves to tackle gold leakages

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 68 Views

Mthuli Ncube to rescue closed mines

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 84 Views

Zimbabwe reels as 18-hr power cuts

by Staff rpeorter | 21 July 2019 | 120 Views

Kirsty Coventry denies interference

by AFP | 21 July 2019 | 60 Views

Zimbabwe removes barriers to solar energy expansion

by Thompson Reuters Foundation | 21 July 2019 | 110 Views

Zimbabwe food crisis an emergency, says UN

by VOA/ UN News | 21 July 2019 | 58 Views

Can Bosso's Prince rise again?

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 36 Views

CIO operative harasses journalists

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 36 Views

Save Bulawayo from vultures

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 70 Views

The pig in Mthuli Ncube's bacon

by Zifiso Masiye | 21 July 2019 | 91 Views

Mnangagwa ally faces probe in $3bn scandal

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 48 Views

Power outage cripples Econet services

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 56 Views

Lobengula descendants demand State House

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 47 Views

Zanu-PF vote-buying scandal raises alarm

by Staff reporter | 21 July 2019 | 66 Views