Tuesday 17 October 2023


A GROUP of learners from Kumalo Primary School in Bulawayo were reportedly left stranded in the “middle of nowhere” after a kombi that was hired to transport them from school to home was impounded by traffic police for allegedly violating traffic regulations.

Parents said the incident left their children traumatised after they reportedly witnessed police brutally assaulting the driver of the vehicle, before sending them away. The incident occurred last Friday in Mahatshula suburb. Some of the children were assisted by a Good Samaritan who ferried them to their homes with the assistance of a police officer after the matter was reported to the police in Mahatshula. A woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she sent a WhatsApp message to various groups in an effort to try and alert parents of the affected children.

 “I found these kids crying and took them to Mahatshula Police Station where we reported the issue. Thereafter, I was assisted by a police officer to deliver these kids one by one to their respective homes,” she said.

“It was hectic because some of the kids were not even sure of their house numbers and their parents’ phone numbers. We had to go to look for places that were familiar to kids one by one until we reached their homes.”

She said two of the children were ECD learners, while the others were in Grade One and Three classes.

Parents of the affected children have since engaged the police over the issue.

“They should answer us over the matter because some of the children that were dumped are in ECD and did not even know how to find their way home as they come from different suburbs. These officers must be brought to book and charged for this,” said a parent who requested anonymity.

A parent whose child was among the group said her child told her that police instructed them to walk home.

“Police told the kids to walk home. This should be reported to the ZRP victim-friendly unit. These kids are minors and what if they are kidnapped? Police must answer this urgently,” said the parent.

A witness said some children fled in different directions when they saw police assaulting the driver.

“Sadly, we don’t know where the driver is and what the police are doing to him. The driver didn’t deserve that kind of treatment,” he said.

“He was assaulted and kicked and fell to the ground before being cuffed and thrown into the vehicle in full view of the children.”

Another parent said: “I was overwhelmed this whole weekend to even speak about it. Two of my children use this transport. Thank God the eldest boy was there otherwise my daughter was going to get lost.”

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they are investigating the matter.

“We will issue a detailed statement once investigations are complete,” he said. Chronicle


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