In a bid to get to school on time, 18-year-old Susan Chimuti (not real name) made her first mistake by taking the shorter route from the Gulf Complex to Peter Birch school of Art via Harare Gardens early Wednesday morning.
It would seem the gods of fate were dealing her a bad set of cards, as the route she had used on several occasions from her guardians’ workplace where she received transport money was to be infested with street fathers who were to waylaid her.
As she approached the curve just after Monomotapa Hotel, young Chimuti instinctively went on high alert as she felt eyes preying on her prompting her to quicken her pace.
Little did she know!
The streets were to prove to be full of creepers who prey on the vulnerable in broad daylight all the same banking on everyone else to observe from a distance and go on with their business as if nothing was going on.
Precautionary, she looked around her for reassurance, slowly assessing her surroundings without necessarily freaking out and coming out as paranoid.
Regrettably, she brushed her instincts aside and relaxed for a minute, letting her guard down as she saw no one in particular paying attention to her.
She felt a hand grab her, at first she just thought it was someone who had recognized her but it later dawned on her that she was not paranoid and there really were people watching her.
Not just people but people not fit to be in this society.
In a split second, she was surrounded by five scruffy-hungry looking street kids who had sprung out of nowhere and were fast closing in on her.
Before her legs could get in sync with her mind and carry her as far away from the scenario playing out, wild horrible stories of attacks at the hands of these high on glue gang members paralyzed her scaring the life out of her.
domen.In the obviously intended confusion, she was hugged tightly by one of the gang members with no care in the world at how his hand hugged her blossom, before she could protest, she felt a knifelike object threatening to pierce through her ab
One of the five guys who looked a bit older than the rest and seemed to command the others stepped forward and demanded she surrender all her possessions to him.
The five ‘street fathers’ cornered her, snatched her satchel, and after realizing that nobody was going to come to her rescue she did the logical thing and gave them the $35 she had and her phone begging them to at least give back her national ID card.
After they had left she ran to the nearest young man who seemed to have witnessed the incident but he too was on his heels before she could even catch her breath.
It was only then that she realized that he was just but the cleaner version of the ‘street fathers’ who had attacked her and they were all on this together and he was only keeping watch of his fellows ‘coast.
Chimuti ran to a police officer who was nearby for help and again it was to no avail as she was brushed off with the excuse that he had other obligations which he could not abandon.
She proceeded to the Harare Gardens police base where again the matter was not treated with the urgency it demanded, rather, she was directed to sit for what would be hours while they ‘looked’ into the matter.
She was later to be advised that the police officers could not be of much assistance because there were no cases of people being attacked by street kids brought to their attention in the past.
With nothing except her national ID on her, Chimuti was sent away empty handed with no hope of the ‘long arm’ of the law catching up with the perpetrators who have taken over the city of Harare.
The police officers who are posted in critical places in the capital to ensure the safety of all citizens proved to be useless as they let her go with no way of getting home except begging for assistance from well-wishers who had the patience and ear to listen.
A Good Samaritan in the form of a commuter omnibus was to be her salvation with the hope that she would pay her fare when she had the money.