GWERU: The mysterious death of a Gweru man at a local mine has the community left with more questions than answers, at the same time spotlighting issues of safety at workplaces.
The suspected drowning of Chesiya Mdala, whose body was discovered floating at a cooling tower pond at his workplace, Jin Yi Enterprise, has become the talk of the city.
Mdala (39) who was a truck driver is suspected to have drowned in the hot water pond while fetching water to wash his truck on Wednesday afternoon.
His floating body was only discovered this Thursday morning and was buried the same day before the release of an autopsy report due to the bad state it had become.
“What we know for sure is that he took the vehicle to that pond over there to wash it. Some workers saw him doing this around 3 pm. He then took the bucket to the pond. We suspect that he slipped and fell in the pond.
“One of our drivers got to the parked vehicle and drove it to a safe place. He found the deceased’s phone inside and handed it over to security. We then got worried when he didn’t show up in the morning and thus when we began to search only to find his floating body over there,” said Jin Yi Enterprises manager Kudakwashe Chitakure.
Family members are suspecting foul play following the explanation from the company which they say leaves more questions than answers.
“One thing I am failing to understand is their explanation that he drowned around 3 pm and someone came to take the truck, saw his phone but failed to take action. When someone disembarks the vehicle they usually take with them the car keys and some valuables.
“Another worrying thing is the fact that he was found holding on to a bucket in his left hand yet he was right-handed. They are saying he drowned but if at all he did so he should have let go of the bucket during the dying moments but they are saying he was found holding on to it. Only God knows what happened to my husband,” the deceased’s wife told CommuTalk.
“I am not convinced by these people at all. My son passed by home around 2 pm in a jovial mood only or him to fail to return home. They are saying he wanted to wash his car but I am failing to understand the choice of the place he was expected to do the job.
“These people know what they did to my son. They are also saying no one saw him drowning but this was around 3 pm and the place his body was found is so open that you fail to understand what they are saying,” the deceased’s mother added.
Hundreds of lives are lost in mining accidents annually with stakeholders coming on board to emphasise the need for mine owners to prioritise issues of safety as a way to avoid loss of lives.