Traditional leaders in Mashonaland East want to engage Government and churches in Murehwa District to conduct a cleansing ceremony at Chivake River Bridge, a black spot where hundreds have perished over the years.

The black spot has claimed hundreds of lives in traffic accidents and last week a truck driver lost control of his vehicle and a 30-tonne granite rock he was hauling fell off the trailer and punched a huge hole through the bridge.

Speaking to The Herald, headman Zihute (Mr Innocent Mangwende) of the Nhowe chieftainship clan in Murehwa, said there was need to perform a cleansing ceremony at the bridge.

Headman Zihute said the victims of the 1989 Nhamburo Bus disaster, which claimed 78 people and injured 26 others when the bus plunged into the dry riverbed needed their spirits to be appeased.

“I am trying to meet with Chief Nyamukoho from Mutoko to organise this ceremony. Chief Nyamukoho’s people constituted the greater number of people who perished on this bridge and only two from my area died on the day hence the need for the two of us to meet and map the way forward.”

“I also appeal to the churches and Government to assist in making the event a success,” he said.
The bridge is built on Chivake River a few kilometres before Murehwa along the Harare–Nyamapanda Highway.

Murehwa District administrator, Mr Maxwell Mabhuro, said he had been approached by a man claiming to be of the Gwenzi clan of Tsokoto section to the east of Chivake River and another from Biri naGanyire clan responsible for the western side of Chivake River on the same issue.

“The men claimed to know the causes of Chivake disasters and alleged that the late chief Mangwende did not finish the rites demanded by spirit mediums, hence the strange happenings at the bridge,” he said.

Sources interviewed by the Herald on Tuesday revealed that strange events take place at the bridge at night and linked a strange whirlwind that almost uprooted tents at the recently held anti-sexual violence campaign by the police in Murehwa.

Meanwhile, sources close to the goings on claimed that resources to repair the bridge were still a challenge and quotations were being done to seek companies for tenders of repairing the bridge.