condolences to the families of Matsha students


29 December, 2015

The Umbrella for Democratic Change - UDC Members of Parliament wish to extend their heartfelt condolences to the families of Matsha students who died in yesterday's tragic truck accident. This is indeed not only a loss to the families but the nation at large has lost future leaders in the most tragic and painful manner.

UDC MPs learnt that the accident happened when Matsha students were returning to their homes after completing their senior school examinations. This is indeed a dark moment in the history of our country that calls for unity of purpose by all of us in demanding for accountability. We share the pain of parents who waited with so much anticipation for the arrival of their children who now have to contend with the most painful news of the tragedy. As UDC parliamentarians we believe that the many questions that are obviously raging in every parent's mind, including why the children were transported in a truck in the first place, need to be answered and the minister needs to take full responsibility.

UDC MPs therefore demand that the minister of Education should, without fail brief parliament on this tragedy on Monday and account to the representatives of the people, on why a truck was used to transport these students instead of safer modes of transport such as buses. The government of the day must take full responsibility for this tragic loss of life and take immediate action to ensure that no student, anywhere in the country, will ever be transported in open trucks or any other unsafe mode of transport in future. This undertaking should be in the form of a strong policy pronouncement that is followed by a clear implementation plan that will capacitate the ministry of education (and by extension all schools) with the necessary resources. It is not enough for government to shift the blame to school and council authorities when it is a known fact that most of our rural schools continue to use trucks to transport students despite countless warnings and past similar tragedies.

UDC MPs await a detailed account from the minister of education on the transport situation in schools across the country with the view to ensure that such a tragedy does not happen again. We implore the president of the country, to address the nation and take Batswana into confidence on the steps that his government is taking to ensure the safety of our children more especially those from disadvantaged and poor backgrounds.

May the souls of our departed young heroes find eternal peace.

UDC parliamentary Spokesperson
Dr Phenyo Butale