Two Waste Solutions Employees Die In Suspected Chemical Poisoning

Harare October 5-Two people, a truck driver and his assistant, have died in a suspected chemical poisoning case.

The crew of a honey sucker vehicle are suspected to have died of suffocation while disposing of waste at a manhole along Harare’s Mukuvisi River.

Early Monday morning, a basket weaver Regai Muchenje, who plies his trade along the Mukuvisi River adjacent to Simon Mazorodze Road, saw a truck belonging to a Harare company known as Waste Solutions arrive to dispose of waste at a manhole next to the river.

Muchenje says he saw the driver and his assistant open one manhole and go inside.

Curiosity however got the better of him when the truck crew took long to come out, prompting him to go and investigate.

According to Muchenje, he peeped inside the truck and saw the two looking like they were already dead resulting in him calling for help from nearby traffic police officers.    

Police spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident and  revealed that on arrival, the police called for an ambulance and the Fire Brigade who assisted in pulling out the victims who were confirmed dead.

The bodies have since been taken to Harare Hospital mortuary with police issuing a strong warning on companies involved in waste management to consult experts such as the Environmental Management Agency in their activities.

Attempts to find the owners of the truck whose address is listed as Suite 10, Constantia Court, 98 Livingstone Avenue in Harare failed to yield results.

Calls to a mobile number listed on the truck were only answered once and after the ZBC News identified itself, the phone rang without being replied.

A visit to the company address was not fruitful either with ZBC News crew encountering locked doors at a residential apartment where neighbours said they do not know the dwellers of the listed address.

The incident has opened a can of worms as it is just an isolated case of heavy chemical pollution into Mukuvisi River which directly feeds into Lake Chivero, Harare’s source of drinking water.