A dark cloud hangs over Masvingo Province after three school heads were killed in an accident that occurred on Thursday morning as they travelled to Harare to plead to Government for the release of Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) Funds for their pupils.
The three were all heads of special schools for physically and mentally children. They had not received a cent from the government to run the schools since the third term opened three weeks ago.
The fourth head, Stanley Tavonga Feya of Henry Murray School for the Deaf was lucky. He got to the pick-up point late and was left behind.
Two of the heads, Ratidzo Zimcare’s Sabelo Zuvurawa and Margaretha Hugo (Copota) School for the Blind Primary head, Clever Madzokere died on the spot while Margaretha Hugo Secondary School’s Tapiwa Madamombe passed on three days later at Harare Hospital on Sunday.
Investigations by The Mirror have revealed that, the vehicle, a Ford Ranger which belonged to Margaretha Hugo Schools and donated by Leonard Cheshire overturned several times at near Mvuma at around 7:30 am. It was being driven by Madzokere.
Feya confirmed the travel arrangements to The Mirror.
He said there are four schools for children living with disabilities in Masvingo District and after failing to get funds to run the schools for the third term and with the situation getting dire they sat down and agreed to go to Harare and make a joint presentation to the Social Welfare Department. They agreed to meet at Wigley House in Masvingo at 6 am and use the Margetha Hugo vehicle for the trip.
“We had agreed to travel to Harare together to meet Social Welfare department heads to air our concerns. Schools opened recently and we have not received a cent from Social Welfare which funds our operations.
“I was overwhelmed with work and arrived late at Wigley House and found the other three gone. It is shocking how they died while travelling to create a better environment for their pupils,” said Feya.
Masvingo District Schools Inspector (DSI) Ishmael Chigaba told The Mirror that Zuvurawa and Madzokere were buried on Sunday in Chivi and Madondo Village under Chief Nerupiri in Gutu respectively.
Madamombe will be buried today at Zvavahera in Buhera, said Chigaba.
Midlands Police spokesperson Emmanuel Mahoko was out of office when contacted for a comment.
Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) Secretary General Reverend Tafadzwa Masimba whose church runs Henry Murray, Margaretha Hugo primary and secondary schools told The Mirror that they are yet to get full details of the cause of the accident.
Madzokere and Madamombe left Margaretha Hugo premises in Zimuto together and picked up Zuruwara at Wigley House opposite Masvingo Central Police Station at around 6 am.
Zivurawa left a Ratidzo Zimcare single cab vehicle he was driving parked at Masvingo Central. Feya came late and found the other three heads gone.
Madzokere was driving the Ford Ranger and mist covered the road when they reached Fairfields. The vehicle went out of the road and overturned as Madzokere tried to steer it back into the road, said sources.
Chosen Generation, an organisation which works with children with disabilities director Vimbai Chase said her organisation is devastated by the loss.
“We had just planned a talent show at Margaretha Hugo school for next week. It is indeed a sad day to us as we worked closely with the deceased three heads,” Chase.