Four members of the same family died due to suffocation after drowning in a well at their house in Budirio 4, Harare on Monday morning, in a tragedy that has left the whole Budiriro community in shock.
What started as any other Monday morning for the Jokomela family soon turned out to be a nightmare after brothers, Tom (35), Cleopas Jnr (32) and McLove (31) decided to clean their well which is situated right in front of their house.
In no time, the brothers had managed to empty most of the murky water from the well and the youngest decided to get inside the well to remove the remaining water, and that was the last time he was seen alive.
Their mother, Grace Chikembe Jokomela, who was visibly in shock, explained how the other two brothers and her husband followed into the well and also met the same fate.
“McLove went into the well first and when he was suffocating, the other brother went in to rescue him and he as well suffocated. The third also went in and suffocated as well. That is when we called their father, who also suffocated trying to rescue my last son who was still alive. We suspect that there was lack of oxygen in the well after they had used a generator pump to pump out the water,” she said.
The Fire Brigade and an ambulance were called but by then, all the four were already dead.Harare Fire Brigade Assistant Divisional Officer, Mr Herbert Chipidza narrated how the emergency services rushed to the scene of the incident.
“We could only retrieve two bodies and members of the Sub Aqua Unit had to be called in to retrieve the other bodies,” he said.
Civil Protection Unit (CPU) Acting Director, Ms Sibusisiwe Ndlovu and her team who had rushed to the scene with members of the Sub Aqua Unit warned members of the public against using gadgets that produce carbon dioxide especially in enclosed spaces.
People from the community who had gathered at the Jokomela family home to try and assist the brothers were left speechless, and could only sit and watch in disbelief as the bodies were being retrieved from the well.
Disbelief turned into chilling horror as the bodies of three young men and their father, who just an hour before were full of life, were laid lifelessly on the lawn.
Tragically so, Mrs Jokomela had been blessed with 4 children, 3 boys and 1 girl.