Saturday, 28 July 2018


A GIRL from Bulawayo who was recently honoured by the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) for averting a train disaster in which about 300 passengers could have perished, has been rewarded by a Bulawayo family whose father frequently travels by train.

Nozipho Sibanda, a Form One pupil at Entumbane High School, saw a broken railway line in Sawmills in September last year, an hour before a Bulawayo-bound train from Victoria falls was set to pass and rushed to inform the station manager at Sawmills Railway Station .

The station manager stopped the train, thereby averting potential disaster.
In appreciation of her life saving act, the NRZ went to her school in June and committed to pay her school fees until she completes secondary school. The NRZ also guaranteed her a place at its training school in Bulawayo should she wish to be enrolled there.

Yesterday, the girl received a Samsung Galaxy Tablet that comes in handy for her studies in line with the new curriculum from the Sibanda family of Malindela suburb in the city, whose rural home is Hwange.

Representing the family at the hand-over ceremony at the NRZ board room, Mr Revelation Masotsha Sibanda said his family appreciated the work of the little girl which saved about 300 people’s lives.
“We were touched by the work of this little girl, so young and yet so thoughtful. We are originally from Hwange and our dad prefers travelling to Hwange by train and he could have been on that train, or it could have been any of our relatives.

“We tried to get her a gift that is not only going to be for pleasure but will also assist her in her school work. Now with the new curriculum and such gadgets being among the requirements, we hope that it will assist her in her school work,” said Mr Sibanda.
The NRZ National Safety and Environment Manager, Mr Elimon Mukozho, applauded Nozipho for having a sense of responsibility and encouraged parents to bring up responsible children.

“Nozipho has become an ambassador for her home and this positively reflects on her upbringing. We can see that she was brought up in a well-mannered home and was taught values of ubuntu and integrity,” he said.

Nozipho was then a 12-year-old Grade Seven pupil at Sawmills Primary School in September last year.

In June, Mr Joseph Temai, the NRZ Marketing Manager, commended Nozipho for her heroics.
“She saved over 300 lives in a passenger train that was coming from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo. She did something that some adults may have failed to do.

As part of our whistle blowers programme, we decided to give her a small token of appreciation as a gesture to show gratitude to her family and her school for cultivating such good habits in a child,” said Mr Temai.

“It was midweek in the morning and she was on her way to school. She noticed that part of the railway line was broken and she went to notify the station manager before going to school. It shows the kind of family and home that she was brought up in.”

Mr Temai said property worth millions of dollars was saved and the lives of about 300 passengers were spared.

“She was a mere primary school pupil going about her business but she had the wisdom to realise that as she had seen the problem, she felt obliged to take it upon herself to report it to responsible authorities,” he said. Chronicle 


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