ZANU PF aspiring MP for Pumula, Godfrey Malaba, yesterday expressed sadness over the death of a nine-year-old boy fatally struck by a party campaign vehicle on Monday, but was quick to blame potholes.
Pumula suburb is one of five Bulawayo constituencies where by-elections will be held on June 10.
Polite Dube, a Grade 5 pupil at Amaswazi Primary School in Pumula North high-density suburb, died after he was hit by a Zanu PF campaign vehicle in the suburb while his friend, Methembe Moyo, was left nursing injuries.
Moyo was discharged from Mpilo Central Hospital on Thursday.
Malaba expressed regret over the accident and said the ruling party would assist the two families with medical and burial costs.
“I express my heartfelt condolences to the family. It’s sad to see a young life being taken away in such a manner. The accident left us disturbed. It’s saddening and we are assisting the two families in meeting medical and burial costs,” Malaba said in an interview.
On Thursday, the families of the two boys accused Zanu PF of negligence. They said the party had not rendered assistance.
However, Malaba said they would assist the families. “We are going to meet some of the burial expenses by providing food and transport to carry mourners,” he said.
“The accident, however, highlights the sorry state of our roads. I am made to understand that one Mafa who was driving the vehicle, lost control while trying to avoid a pothole. I am not sure as to whether he was speeding or not, or of other circumstances that led to the accident. We need to fix our roads to avoid unnecessary loss of life.”
Campaigning has heated up ahead of the by-elections, with parties holding door-to-door campaigns and rallies on a daily basis.
Seven candidates are vying for the Pumula seat namely Malaba, former MP of the area, Albert Mhlanga (independent), Jackson Lunga (NCA), Ntandoyenkosi Ndlovu (Transform Zimbabwe), Bathandi Mpofu (Zapu) and independents Zanele Mpofu, Misheck Ncube and Morrison Maluso.