Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Pupil killer driver jailed

By Lisa Mangena

A 33 year old unlicensed motorist from Bulawayo has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for fatally running over a six-year-old McKeurtan Primary School pupil who was crossing a road from school with her aunt and two other children.

Derrick Phiri of Lobengula West suburb knocked down Mbalenhle Sibanda, a Grade One pupil, while driving a white Toyota Hilux.

Phiri appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube facing charges of culpable homicide and driving a vehicle without a driver’s licence.

He was sentenced to 21 months in jail. Six months were suspended for five years on conditions that he does not commit a similar offence. He will effectively serve 15 months in jail.

The magistrate said Phiri was negligent in his driving and had failed to properly handle the situation.

“The State will allege that Phiri failed to have a proper lookout under the circumstances, was driving a motor vehicle without a licence, failed to stop or act reasonably during the time of the accident and was driving at an excessive speed,” he said.

The prosecutor, Mr Kenneth Shava said on March 7 this year at around 3PM, Phiri was driving along 3rd Avenue Extension in Makokoba.

“While opposite McKeurtan Primary School, he hit the minor who was crossing the road with her aunt and two other children while on their way home from school. Dube tried to run away from the scene and was stopped by members of the public.

“Phiri reversed his car and crushed the minor’s head,” said Mr Shava.

The court heard that the minor died on the spot.

The scene was attended by Bulawayo traffic and Phiri’s vehicle was towed to the Vehicle Inspection Department where it was inspected and a report was compiled.

The vehicle inspection report was produced in court as an exhibit. The Chronicle