By Danisa Masuku
A THIRTEEN-year-old pupil at Sacred Heart Girls Secondary School in Umzingwane District, Matabeleland South Province, sustained serious injuries after she was bitten by a mongrel dog on the school premises.
The pupil is in Form One.
A source privy to the incident said a school guard neglected to secure the dogs in a kennel before pupils woke up early in the morning to start preparing for classes.
The norm at the school, according to the source, was that the dogs were set free from their kennels from 8pm and secured the following morning at 4am.
On the fateful days it is alleged that a security guard at the school, Mark Ndlovu, forgot to lock the pets in their kennels at 4am.
“He (Mark Ndlovu) was on duty on that particular day and as usual he let out the dogs at night when school children and staff members are no longer expected to be outside.
“The pupils are expected to be up early in the morning preparing for the start of classes and the dogs should be locked in their kennels at that time,” narrated the source.
At 4.25am the unsuspecting girl was attacked by the animal.
“The pupil woke up at around 4.25am and went outside and since the dogs were still roaming in the school yard, one of them attacked her before the school guard, who was not close to the scene, could react and restrain the dog.
“The girl suffered serious injuries,” added the B-Metro mole.
Screams by the hapless child attracted the attention of school authorities who swiftly rushed to the scene and conducted first aid on her before she was rushed to a private hospital in Bulawayo.
The school guard subsequently fled the scene.
According to the source, school authorities allegedly did not make a police report.
Police, however, received a tip-off that a pupil had been attacked by a dog and that school authorities were trying to sweep the matter under the carpet, prompting the law enforcement officers to launch an investigation.
It’s said one of the teachers told police that school authorities were not aware that a report was supposed to be made after a child was attacked by the dog.
Matabeleland South Provincial Veterinary Officer Enat Mdlongwa said they tested the dog for rabies.
“The dog was tested for rabies after it was put down and it tested positive. Results will be relayed to the school,” Mdlongwa said.
Matabeleland South acting police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the incident.
“We received a tip-off from a member of the public that a pupil at Sacred Heart Girls Secondary School was severely attacked by a school dog.
“Our officers conducted investigations and established that indeed a 13-year-old was attacked by a dog but a police report was not made,” she said.
She added: “Police established that the security guard is on the run and we are appealing for information that may lead to his arrest.
Anyone with information that may lead to his arrest should contact Assistant Inspector Ncube on 0772226650 or ZRP Esigodini on (0292)800292, or at any nearest police station.”
Matabeleland South provincial education director Lefias Masukume said the issue had been reported to a higher office.
“We are aware of the case and we passed on the issue to the head office at the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, so please contact them for a comment,” said Masukume. B Metro