Hwange — Residents here were left counting their loses after their property was destroyed by a rain storm which also swept away their chickens and other domestic animals.
The residents were unhappy that council could not immediately offer any assistance as local councillors and senior management were living in luxury at the upmarket Angling Boat Club Lodge on the Zambezi River for a weekend retreat.
As has become an annual calamity, houses in F section and Lwendulu along Church Road and Cinderella were flooded up to window level, destroying property while chickens and rabbits used to supplement families' food, were swept away.
Witnesses said the rains started on Friday night and flooding started around 5am Saturday, spreading to N section in Number 1 suburb, and parts of DRC section in Empumalanga suburb.
No human casualty was reported.
"The flooding is attributed to blocked storm drains, and it comes two days after the district Civil Protection Unit held a meeting at the Colliery offices on Thursday to prepare for such disasters," one resident, Miriam Dube said.
An AFM church along Church Street collapsed while some long distance buses that ply the Victoria Falls-Bulawayo route were still stuck in Hwange at 10 am after leaving the resort town at 4 am and 6 am.
"People are being moved to higher places and many are being taken to the Colliery Guest House. The trucks came after 10 am when it stopped raining because they could not move in the morning. Some people had already left their houses and gone towards St Ignatius Roman Catholic Cathedral where it's a bit higher," said Dube.
She said people lost a lot of household property which was washed away by the floods.
"It was a heavy storm with thunder and lighting and each time you would hear walls shaking after the thunder. This has been happening every year but this time it is serious because the level of water went above window level while it spread to N section and Empumalanga... over the years, it would have been F section and Cinderella only," said another resident.