According to reports posted on the Fight Crime Gaborone Facebook group last week, there has been a rash of crime affecting students attending Gaborone International School in Block 8. “Students walking to and from school in Block 8 have been subject to threats with knives and have had their cell phones taken regularly in broad daylight. (And) never a cop to be seen on this road.” Reported teacher Mrs. Judith McArthy “(Also) a teacher assaulted and robbed at 5 p.m. last week.”
Later in the week Mrs. McArthy posted, “Three students harassed and they managed to escape by dodging through flowing traffic. (They were) visibly shaken and afraid on arriving at school.” A concerned mother commented saying “I have had to drive much faster than normal to pick my daughter who got robbed at a bus stop (in Block 8)”
There have also been reports from schools in the surrounding areas. A school in Block 6 had a teacher assaulted and robbed by two men in the late afternoon, while the teacher was closing the gates of the school campus. With the amount of students that walk to and from school everyday, who knows how many similar crimes have occurred that we are unaware of.
A student’s walk to and from school should be an harmless, happy time spent chatting, laughing and bonding with fellow students that could become their life long friends. It should not be a time they spend paranoid, rushing along, under the threat of being mugged.
These criminals are not merely separating young people, children from their tuck shop money and cellphones they are robbing them of their innocence…of their childhoods. This kind of criminal activity simply cannot be tolerated. What kind of place is it when a child can no longer safely travel to school? Not the kind of place that anyone wants to live in. The citizens of Gaborone must call for a change – before it is too late.
We would like to thank everyone who either through the Fight Crime Gaborone Facebook Group or via The Voice SMS system lent us your Voice by participating in last week’s poll question.