Residents want to help poor family

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Residents of Harare’s Mabelreign suburb have rallied to help a poor man who lives in a TelOne “sub-station” with his wife and child.

“This issue has been discussed by neighbours within the area and inter-denominational women’s groups to try and help this man,” said Mabel Matshitse a Mabelreign resident.

The man, who mostly keeps to himself, lives inside the fenced off area marked “Danger”.

Everyone in the area, near the Reserve Bank Sports Club, knows the man – but they do not know his name. He seems to live on collecting used plastics and bottles for re-sale.

“Our councillor has even made efforts to try and take the child to a children’s home, but unfortunately the father went to court and won custody of the child,” said Matshitse

“I strongly believe that this is because the court never learnt of the man’s homelessness.”

Lately the man’s wife has not been seen at the little 2mx2m structure, which has an old PTC logo and is numbered 346. PTC is now TelOne.

“He once had a wife that he seemed to abuse and once they even fought for the child, but he won. Now we are not sure if that woman is still alive,” said Matshitse.

On Wednesday the man left his small child, aged about three, locked inside the fence.

Collin Wilbesi, TelOne’s Public Relations Officer, said: “It is not permitted for anyone to stay in a TelOne substation.”

Commenting on the matter Wilbesi said it was the first time TelOne were made aware of the problem.

He said he was not sure if there was equipment at all in the substation.