Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Dead by the road side

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A pitiable sight of a young girl aged around six to seven years, seated by the roadside, with a huge black bungle lying on her thighs caught my attention. The young girl was seated in an awkward area, in the middle of nowhere, a place not meant for anyone to rest as it was bare with not even a tree for shade. I saw her as I drove from Bulawayo to Harare on Christmas day.

I stopped. I got out of the car and called to the child who then told me that lying on her knees was her mother who was resting and they were going to proceed home once her mother had rested enough. I moved closer to them only to realise that her mother was already dead. I looked at the child who looked hungry and emaciated yet convinced and hopeful that they were going to proceed with their journey back home. What was not known to her was that her mother was dead. Dead by the roadside.

Tears streamed down my eyes as I pitied the child whose fate no one knew. I could not tell her that her mother was dead. I simply left and phoned the Bulawayo Central Police Station and reported the case. The response from the police officer I spoke to, Constable Phiri, shocked me. He told me that the station had no fuel to go and collect the body and suggested that I find a private funeral home to assist the child.

I was so upset and decided to leave the issue hoping that someone from close by would assist the child. This decision I made never put my heart to rest. The thoughts and picture of the little girl still haunt me. The scene reflected the level of the socio-economic crisis bedeviling Zimbabwe with children left to their own devices to deal with issues they can hardly fathom.

8 comments to “Dead by the road side”

  1. Comment by Global Voices Online » Zimbabwe: Left to die by the roadside:

    [...] by the roadside,” writes Fungisai on Kubatana blog, “A pitiable sight of a young girl aged around six to seven years, seated by the roadside, [...]

  2. Comment by Light:

    You did all you could and more than many would have. I will pray for peace for your mind. I will pray for the little girl. I continue to pray for the end of suffering for all Zimbabweans.

  3. Comment by Fungisai Sithole:

    Thank you very much. Your comment at least removes the blame off my shoulders. I guess I did all I could and the blame should be put where it lies – the socio economic crisis destroying our nation.

  4. Comment by Tsitsi:

    It also breaks my heart that zimbabwean children have to go through such horrific experiences because our leaders have abdicated their reposnsibility. I am sorry too, that Fungisai – I am sure herself struggling to make ends meet has to bear that responsibility.

    Thank you for your story and take heart – our country and its people will be free someday.

  5. Comment by Gerry Jackson:

    The socio economic crisis is to blame for the destruction of the country but all Zimbabweans should take the responsibility to help where they can. I cannot believe anyone could just leave a child in this situation, and on Christmas day. It has blown my mind.

  6. Comment by goldwinger:

    This was always going to happen from the minute Smith left power. This person would be alive (and thousands more) if Mugabe and his dispicable rabble had not been handed power by the so called free world. They didn’t win the war and never would, results spoke for themselves. I remember many black people telling me that at least under smith they had food, jobs and a life. Get rid of that Animal and all his followers any way you can. It’s the only chance that country has. Only fools never saw this coming back as far as 1977

  7. Comment by Gashirayi:

    Fungisai you tried but u should have gone the extra mile in getting food for the young child coz mybe the mother died of hunger. If you did may God bless you because we could have lost another life in the little child. May God Bless our beloved Zimbabwe and let’s leave it to Him to identify the culprits and He Himself will do justice accordingly.
    Take heart

  8. Comment by Vanilla Ice:

    You cannot be serious. You did nothing. We have a duty as adults to protect and nurture our children. They are our future. How we treat them reflects on who we are as a people and a nation. You abandoned her, and left her to the whims of fate. Just like your countrymen have done to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has no future, and never will as long as attitudes like this prevail. Zimbabwe will forever remain a failed state, just like Somalia, until you are recolonised by the Chinese. You have no compassion for your own, and yet deeply despise foreigners at the same time. What a mess. I shudder to think what happened to that child.