FIVE Binga pupils are battling for their lives in hospital after jumping off a moving truck when the driver who had given them a lift from a schools sports event allegedly refused to drop them at their destination.
Although police could not be reached for comment on the issue, Binga Ward 4 councillor Elmon Mudenda confirmed the incident which happened last Thursday.
The vehicle belonged to a Christian non-governmental organisation, Capernaum Trust, and the driver were now reportedly in police custody and the driver was due to appear in court today.
Capernaum Trust was established in 1996 by South Africa-based Zimbabwean telecomunications mogul Strive Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi to raise school fees for disadvantaged and orphaned children.
Mudenda said the driver of the vehicle gave six pupils from Mpambe Primary School a lift on their way from Siasundu where they were attending a sports event.
“The pupils are from Mpambe Primary School and had gone to Siasundu for sports. The driver gave them a lift to their home in Mpambe area which is some kilometres from the venue of the schools’ sports event,” Mudenda said.
“However, when they reached their destination, the pupils who were at the back of the vehicle hit the canopy for the driver to stop, but he did not do so and instead increased speed.”
Mudenda said upon realising that the driver would not stop and had driven for more than 10 kilometres from their destination, the pupils decided to jump out of the moving vehicle.
“Five of them jumped crushing on the tarmac sustaining serious injuries in the process. One of them remained in the vehicle and he continuously hit the vehicle until the driver stopped. He then dropped him there.
Despite the fact that he was told of the other pupils’ fate, he continued with his journey to Binga centre,” Mudenda said.
He said an ambulance was summoned to ferry the injured five to Binga District Hospital where they were admitted.
“Two of them were later transferred to Bulawayo where their condition is still critical. We visited the three who are here in Binga and their condition is serious. Investigations later led to the arrest of the driver and he is in police cells,” Mudenda said.