TWO PUPILS and a teacher from Hillcrest National Technical Secondary School who died in a road traffic accident on Friday night near Kozo Lodge in Choma were yesterday afternoon put to rest at the Livingstone Old Cemetery in Livingstone.
Before the burial, a church service was held led by Southern Provincial Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu,Livestock and Fisheries Deputy Minister Lawrence Evans, Southern Province permanent Secretary Sibanje Simuchoba,General Education Spokesperson Hilary Chipango, National union leaders, opposition political leaders and other senior Government officials was held at Villa Grounds were hundreds of mourners gathered to pay their last respect.
The accident happened on Friday night involving a Hillcrest Rosa Minibus and a stationary truck. The School team was on their way to Canisius Secondary School in Monze for the Coca-Cola tournament.
Southern Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu directed the Provincial Education Officer, to ensure that all schools stop transporting pupils during the night so that fatal accidents and loss of more lives can be avoided.
Mr Mubukwanu who on behalf of President Edgar Lungu conveyed a message of condolences to the bereaved families , lamented that it was unfortunate that the nation had lost intelligent pupils at a tender age, a situation that deprived them of a chance to meet their dreams.
“Am equally directing RTSA and the Zambia Police to ensure that no school bus should be allowed to move with our children after 18:00 hours from now onwards.
The country has been robbed of great leaders that would have become great academicians. Hillcrest is where Zambia’s cream are found and for you to get a school place at Hillcrest, you have to be intelligent and be among the best in the country, ”Mr Mubukwanu said.
Secondary School Teachers’ Union of Zambia (SESTUZ) General Secretary,Sitibekiso Wamuyuwa appealed to RTSA to effectively investigate the cause of the accident to the fullest so that the culprits could be brought to book.
Mr Wamuyuwa thanked Government for facilitating and spearheading all the funeral arrangements and expenses.
“Our Government has shown its full commitment and it fatherly love by taking charge of all the funeral expenses, this has lessened on the burden that is already being felt by the bereaved families. The Gesture is a sign that this is a listening Government,” He said.
Provincial Education Officer Florence Chikalekale disclosed that the ministry in the province has always been against pupils traveling at night and wondered why the school authorities had decided to go against the set rules.
Ms Chikalekale consoled the bereaved the family and promised to honor all the pupils and a teacher that died in the tragic accident.
She promised to introduce to an award in science in honor of Robby Zulu who was an outstanding pupil in sciences before his death.
And Zambia Air Force Livingstone Chaplin Lieutenant Colonel Mofat Nyambe urged the families to seek God’s guidance during the trying moments, adding that only God had the answers as to why the pupils had to die at a very tender age.
Those buried in Livingstone included Robby Zulu grade 11, Mukumbi Kaputa grade 11 and a teacher Sikaswe Syasiya, while others will be buried in Siavonga,Chililabombwe and Ndola respectively.