An 11-YEAR-OLD boy died while two other people were injured after an Upper Six pupil lost control of a vehicle he was driving and rammed into a shop and some vending stalls in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb yesterday.
Menzele Siziba, who was in Grade Six at Tategulu Primary School in the same suburb, was buying bread at a tuck-shop near their home when a vehicle that was being driven by Fredrick Dube veered off the road and came straight at him, knocking him down.
The accident happened at around 8am.
The vehicle, a red Ford Ranger, rammed into an Econet shop and some vending stalls, injuring two people before it came to a halt.
The injured were rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital.
When a Chronicle news crew arrived at the scene, residents had gathered around Mrs Abigail Siziba, Menzele’s mother, who was sitting next to her son’s body, wailing uncontrollably.
The father of the deceased lives in South Africa.
Menzele and his mother recently came back from the neighbouring country where they were based for some time.
“My son, I had him when I was very young, how can he be taken away from me like this? There was lots of traffic in South Africa but he manoeuvred and always found his way to school. Now we come to settle back home and he gets killed on a dusty road with so few vehicles? All he only wanted was to have his tea and go to church,” said Mrs Siziba.
The driver of the vehicle surrendered himself to the police following the accident.
He is a holder of a valid driver’s licence.
Fredrick was coming from dropping his mother and siblings at Cowdray Park Catholic Church when the accident happened, his father, Mr Melusi Dube, said.
Fredrick’s parents rushed to the scene following the accident and his mother, accompanied by other congregants, sat next to the mother of the deceased, in a sombre atmosphere.
Luveve Member of Parliament, Ntandoyenkosi Mlilo and Cowdray Park Councillor Mr Collet Ndlovu, also attended the scene and both described the accident as sad and unfortunate.
Mr Dube said he was shocked when he received the news that his son had been involved in an accident which killed a neighbour’s child.
“I’m so shocked and we feel really bad about what has happened. Such a loss of a young life is very painful and I cannot imagine what the mother of the boy is going through. We hope that through dialogue, we will find peace with the family and move on from this painful chapter,” said Mr Dube.
He said his son was currently writing his final A-Level examinations at a city high school and he was afraid that he might not cope with the pressure as he was in a state of shock.
Mr Dube said his son failed to negotiate a curve and in the process of trying to avoid ramming into a house, he ended up driving towards vending stalls.
The Chronicle observed skid marks on the ground, which stretched for about 50 metres to where the accident occurred.
Mlilo commended Fredrick’s family for their presence at the scene and said it showed remorse and the spirit of ubuntu.
He said he was going to lobby Government, through Parliament, to provide more service vehicles for police after they attended the scene with their private vehicles and had to wait for two hours for another team of officers to arrive with a truck that ferried the body to the mortuary.
“I would like to commend the ZRP for their swift response. They attended the scene on time, using their own resources. However, I am disappointed with the fact that it took so long for the body to be taken away because there was no car to carry the coffin. I will, therefore, lobby in Parliament for every police station to have a vehicle because it is very sad for people to just gather like this watching a body because police have no transport. It does not paint a good picture of our police force,” said Mlilo.
Cllr Ndlovu said he was going to request the Bulawayo City Council to put humps in place at the spot where the accident occurred, Harare24 reported.
“Cars are always speeding on this road and it is worrying because it is so dangerous. I want to lobby council to erect humps on that road because the road is a death trap, “said Cllr Ndlovu.
A neighbour to the Sizibas, Ms Caroline Volkyn, said an EcoCash agent and a vendor who was serving the deceased at the time of the accident, were injured.
They were rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital.
“We are in mourning as a community because we lived in harmony like a family. I took him as my own son because I am very close to his mother. We are currently trying to call his father to notify him of the unfortunate incident. It is so sad,” said Ms Volkyn.
Menzele’s mother said her son had rushed to the tuck-shop to buy bread so he could have tea before going to Sunday school at a local church.
No comment could immediately be obtained from the police.