HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsNurture, protect children

Nurture, protect children

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Children are a precious gift from God and, as such, we have to nurture and protect them from any kind of harm as much as possible.

This week I arrived at at scene of an accident along Old Mazowe Road and Katsande Way in Marlborough.

A six-year-old boy had been hit by a woman motorist and died on the spot. It was such a ghastly sight and a shock for the pregnant lady driver who was seated on the ground as she constantly fainted.

Water was being poured over her head,
People may obviously blame the driver, but the boys hand was firmly gripped by the woman who had escorted him home from school. He suddenly set himself loose and dashed across the road in the face of oncoming traffic.

A similar incident happened in Tynwald North where a primary school child was hit after jumping off a minibus and dashed into the road.

The driver of the car was a young man who quickly took him to Westend Hospital where he underwent an operation. He is now back at school, but the parents of the child want to have the driver prosecuted.

They have been to court a couple of times and yet it was no fault of this young man. The young boy is as fit as a fiddle, but this young man is being hounded over a person who is already back in school.

His mother paid $2 100 for the operation, but they seem to want more money. But for what? The courts would have to decide on this one for I truly believe that it was negligence on the part of the parents.

Why did they let this little boy travel in these kombis and then dash across the road? . . . I dont know. The boy is as fit as a fiddle but I wonder why parents behave like, letting young children travel to and from school without a guardian.

Many years ago, Zimbabwe had a beautiful school-zoning system which lessened such incidents. If you lived in the Avenues, your child was likely to attend David Livingstone School. Those in Avondale would get a place at Avondale Primary School and so on.

But that zoning was put aside and now many children are getting maimed or killed as they move from home to the city centre.

My boss Vincent Kahiya during a meeting revealed there is 95% chance of dying in or being hit by a kombi anywhere.

It is very clear that minibuses have become a hazard to human beings. Something has to be done. The minibuses play an important role given the scarcity of proper buses but they have a part to play to ensure passengers are safe.

Yesterday, I asked a Grade 5 Blakiston Primary School girl where she was coming from as I drove along Josiah Chinamano Avenue. She said she lived in Kuwadzana. I further asked her what time she wakes to go school. She said she gets up at 5am daily.

These children will be so tired by the time they get to school. One kombi driver said he sometimes wakes up children who would have started dozing on their way home. The kombi drivers are performing a good service, but please guardians and parents accompany children to school.

I am aware that most people do not drive but sure there could be some people in the neighbourhood who can assist.

These children are generally jaywalkers who have no slight idea about road traffic rules. What happened to the cops that gave talks on road safety to these young people?

I have seen little girls walking to Dzivaresekwa which is obviously nearer to Tynwald North than Haig Park School in Mabelreign, flagging their hands for transport.

I once stopped and gave them a lecture about kidnappings and other bad things that could happen to them. I did manage to speak with some of the parents who thought that I was reprimanding them.

One woman said openly and bluntly that motorists should look out for little children. I do look out for such children because they love playing ball on the roads.

People are generally very stubborn especially if you reprimand them, but it is when tragedy strikes that they start demanding cash from an innocent driver.

I always wonder why children are let to play on the roads and yet certain residential areas have open spaces for children to play.

But the safety of a school-going child lies in the hands of his/her guardians. They are to blame for some of these mishaps because children are not adequately informed about the dangers of jaywalking.

Adults themselves are the worst jaywalkers because the roads at the far end of the city are impassable. Human traffic there is a great danger to motorists. Dare hit one person and see how the nearby mob will react.

Let us make Zimbabwe a safer place for children. There are too many of them roaming the streets.

Feedback:rmapimhidze@newsday.zw

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