Pupil’s death: School demonstrates against killer kombis

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HARARE – Girls High School (GHS) pupils and teachers yesterday demonstrated near their school following the death of a student who was hit by a kombi on Monday.

The Form Four student, Jocelyn Gomba, was hit by a kombi on her way home at the corner of Leopold Takawira Street and Park Lane.

GHS headmistress Beauty Mutsambiwa said the accident is the fourth to befall the school as other girls have also been hit by kombis at the illegal commuter rank.

Mutsambiwa told the Daily News that last week a girl escaped death by a whisker after a kombi headed for Westgate hit her.

“Gomba’s case spurred us to demonstrate because we have always been asking council to remove the illegal kombi rank but they are not doing anything. An innocent life has been lost because they are not doing their job,” Mutsambiwa said.

She said the kombi driver fled the accident scene with the girl still underneath the vehicle and her body was only removed after three hours.

A friend of the girl, who witnessed the accident, said she only realised Gomba was missing after seeing the satchel she was carrying under the kombi.

The visibly emotional girl said the kombi that was parked illegally hooked her late friend’s bag and pulled her under.

“We saw her being dragged for such a long time her flesh fell from her body. We screamed and asked the driver to stop but he ignored us . . . he eventually stopped after being asked by other touts to do so. All we could do was go back to school and call our teachers for help,” she said.

District education officer for Mbare and Hatfield Anatoria Ncube said the Harare City Council must act against undesignated bus ranks as more lives could be lost.

Ncube said the illegal kombi rank is unsightly because it is disturbing the ambience of the school, while touts are also a menace to the school girls.

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“As the ministry, we are desperately appealing for the removal of the rank from school gates. They are interfering with the school’s activities. We hope that this is a signal to enforce the law. There are many police officers, however, they are focusing on putting up roadblocks at unnecessary places while ignoring this rank,” she said.

Kombis at the undesignated rank have since the beginning of the second term injured three pupils and one teacher from GHS.

Harare City Council, which is in charge of allocating kombis pick-up and drop points, have been reluctant to enforce traffic by-laws which, if observed, would end the menace on the streets of Harare.

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