The Harare Girls High pupil who died after being hit by a commuter omnibus was laid to rest yesterday at Granville Cemetery in Harare. Jocelyn Gomba (17) and 35-year-old Mr Odwell Mabanga were run over and dragged to death by one of the commuter omnibuses on Monday that have established a rank near the entrance of Harare Girls High School.
Mr Mabanga sustained serious spinal injuries, but died on Tuesday at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
Speaking at the burial, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Sylvia Utete Masango said the loss was not confined to the Gomba family, but to the whole country.
“All I can say to the family and ministry is we have lost. From what I have been told by her father, Jocelyn’s ambition was not going to benefit her family, but the whole country and that has been cut short. She was a really focused young girl.”
Dr Utete Masango said the ministry would engage police and Harare City Council to ensure all the kombis are removed from undesignated areas.
Jocelyn’s father, Mr Barnabas Gomba, said he was saddened by the loss.
“It is a great loss to the family as Jocelyn was the first born and we were looking forward to seeing her excel in life because she was a bright pupil. She was so determined to achieve everything that she was doing,” he said.
“The other thing that I would like to say is that our family does not hold a grudge against the driver, but hope that he has learnt his lesson from that incident. We are all humans and we make mistakes. Its unfortunate that we have lost a life.”
Mr Gomba urged all drivers to exercise caution.
Jocelyn’s mother Mrs Evelyn Gomba said her daughter had already started studying and planning for her future.
“I had high hopes on my daughter because she was hard working. Last term, she was the best pupil at her school. Jocelyn wanted to be a neuro surgeon and had already started making her own notes doing online studying simultaneously with her school work. Nothing can ever replace her,” she said.