An accident along Victoria Falls road about 6KM from Ken Maur (Saint Lukes) yesterday has claimed a life and left three people with serious injuries.
Michael Mdladla Ndiweni a Survivor and eye witness said: “the minibus coaster was travelling from Singeni, Gwamba valley, Nkayi around 07:15hrs, a haulage encroached our lane, resulting in our driver trying to avoid the heavy truck and hitting the gravel road.
“The driver then failed to negotiate back to the road and the bus swerved to the right lane and suddendly it veered on the right side.
“Three people were seriously injured with deep head cuts, arm cuts, one lady died on the spot, she was trapped on the bus
Victims were taken to Saint Lukes hospital and Mpilo hospital, and the witness says that the ambulance arrived 45 minutes late in a stretch less than ten KM along Vic Falls – Bulawayo highway.
“The driver of the truck could have slept on the wheel, he tried to escape but a good samaritan tailed him and he got arrested in Lupane,” said Ndiweni.
The utterances by the district administrator for Tsholotsho Ms Nosizi Dube at the Livelihoods and Donor Symposium cannot go unchallenged, to a very lesser extent yes there are children who drop out of school to go to South Africa, on the contrary I must remind the learned madam that there are grave factors that she must deal with as an administrator in the region before wholesomely claiming that people from this region are not interested to embrace education.
a) One of the key aspects is the availability of schools in the region particularly in Tsholotsho where I was born and bred.
b) Secondly the distance between schools let me just give an example from Malanda Primary school to the next secondary school which is Tsholotsho High school is 13 KM, everyday students are made to walk 26km, the point is that one gets to school tired and rest then go back home rest and again, until the term finishes, here I am talking about an average student who is not academically gifted to grasp quickly, I am challenging her to avail schools and then we will see whether pupils will drop out and go to South Africa, the option of going becomes very attractive if you made to walk 26 KM daily to and from school. I repeat I challenge the madam to provide vocational training centres, one or two colleges, build more schools and see whether the majority will continue flocking to South Africa, otherwise her point is misplaced to blame us for going to South Africa. I did my secondary education in Victoria Falls at the benevolence of my relatives because I could not have managed to walk the distance to school everyday.
c) Thirdly the motivation to go to school is also a result of a culture of that particular community if schools are made available the culture of going school develops as more parents see the value of education and they motivate their children get educated having seen a neighbour’s son or daughter who has graduated from a local educational institution having a better living standard. My challenge to anyone who cares is build schools, training centres, colleges and then we will see the truth of what the Tsholotsho administrator is talking about. I have had a privilege to travel to other regions particularly Masvingo on average there is a school in every 5 km.
(d) The other point is for the learned madam to challenge our leaders who have been in government for so many years and having been appointed to so many portfolios to do something for their people and make local people benefit from their local available resources i.e. timber, diamond, wildlife and again we will see whether people will continue going to South Africa in numbers.
e) Similarly other issues that she must also deal with is menial jobs that are taken by youths from other regions, for example I had experience in Victoria Falls where a fast food outlet (Food Express bussed over 30 people from Gweru and Harare to open a restaurant in Victoria Falls, but Victoria Falls is the tourism hub that almost 60 – 70 percent of the population have experience working in hotels, so there was no justification whatsoever to bring such a number from outside, people would have understood if the company was bringing special skills, another company Guardian security also did the same, the Kingdom hotel re-opened after refurbishment it was the same thing, a train full of people from other regions came to re-open the hotel, still all these were not special skills. In Bulawayo also some companies did the same, I read about Mthwakazi Joint Youth Resolution who protested this behaviour at Makuzeze Primary School, at ZESA and were arrested and charged, but no leader said anything about this, now because of the presence of a microphone the learned madam accuse us of going to South Africa. I have met a lot of youths who have applied for these jobs but they are turned down but some clandestinely got the jobs without even having the minimum entry requirements, I have worked with people without the required 5 O level entry requirement but because they have a relative who is in the senior position they get the job. Madam I challenge you for a public debate to convince me that youths go to South Africa because they do not want to go to school.
In conclusion let me tell you that most youths save for a few from this region are discriminated in accessing job opportunities this is a fact that you may deny I have attested to living experiences, I think you said this because it is political correct but I dismiss it as a flimsy excuse and so that our people are maligned, not to speak against this unjust, unfair, evil practice that infringes of the rights of the people from this region. Madam speak against such glaring realities and make it a point that access to jobs in this region is given to locals as stipulated by the constitution in Chapter 1: 9, 13(d 3,4), 14, 18, 20, Chapter 4: 56(3), 75, Chapter 14: 264 just to mention some provisions. The learned madam also should tell people where her children are studying I bet they are in some elite boarding schools or are studying in the diaspora, but the industry closed in Bulawayo people are jobless they cannot afford to take their children to school, I think her utterances must be challenging the government to reopen the industry or find alternatives that will assist to drive economic activity in the region.
By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni – A development activist based in Bulawayo