By Moffat Chazingwa
Tragedy has struck a family in Kitwe whose 12-year-old daughter has been killed by a crocodile.
The girl fell prey to the reptile when she went swimming with her two younger sisters in Kafue River, about 100 metres from their home.
Copperbelt police chief Joyce Kasosa yesterday confirmed the incident which happened on Saturday around 09:00 hours.
Ms Kasosa identified the girl as Mamicho Lubola of house number 2626 Ipusukilo Township.
Mamicho's younger sister, Mpundu Mecha, aged nine, who watched helplessly while the deceased was squeezed in the jaws of the crocodile, told the Times yesterday that her sister shouted for help when the giant reptile caught her.
Mpundu narrated amid sobs how she and the deceased, together with another sister, left home in the morning to go and swim in the river just behind their residence.
"When she told me that we go and swim I refused at first but she insisted that we go, so that is how we went," Mpundu said.
She said she and the other sister moved out of the water after swimming for a few minutes and left Mamicho swimming alone.
"We shouted to her to also move out of the water because she was going to be caught and eaten by a crocodile but she refused," she said.
Mpundu said as they were still shouting, they saw something that looked like a stick fast approaching the spot where Mamicho was swimming.
She said shortly afterwards, the crocodile lunged at Mamicho and gripped her with its jaws.
"We saw her being submerged and brought to the surface three times and by the time people heard our call for help, the crocodile had disappeared," she said.
The girls' mother, Beatrice Muleba, who was gripped by emotion, said she left home early to go to Bulangililo Township to visit a sick relative but along the way, she decided to return home.
"Before I reached home, I only heard people calling my daughter's name and wondered what had happened only to be greeted with the sad news that she had been killed by a crocodile," she said.
She said after being shown the spot where her child was captured by the crocodile, she reported the matter to Ipusukilo Police Post.
Ms Muleba said the police refused to attend to her, claiming there was nothing they could do since her daughter had already been eaten by the reptile.
Police spokesperson Charity Chanda asked to be given time in order to get details of the incident.