Two beautiful flowers were prematurely plucked off the tree of lifeon Saturday when a journey to draw water landed Ellen, eight, and her younger brother, Chipiliro Kalebe, five, into a mortuary after they were run over by a personal vehicle driven by a police officer at Chemusa in Blantyre.
The tragedy, which happened near Tam-Tam junction in the township in the morning, forced angry residents to descend on the vehicle’s occupants with mob justice.
Older sister, Alinafe, 10, who survived the accident, said it happened around 6am, when they went to draw water from a stream near the main road.
Alinafe said every Saturday they wake up early for household chores, in readiness for choir practices at church in the afternoon.
“So, I told Ellen and Chipiliro to go first and draw water. The accident happened on our last trip,” Alinafe said while sobbing.
It took Alinafe five minutes before she could narrate the ordeal in the presence of her mother.
“Ellen wapita amayi….[Mom Ellen is gone forever],” she cried.
Ellen was in Standard Two at St Rita Primary School while Chipiliro was in Standard Three at Mbayani Primary School.
How did it happen?
“We sat near the water source, waiting for our turn to draw the water. A car, which veered off the main road swept them, and. ….I survived,” Alinafe, but failed to recount how she survived.
“I don’t know how I survived,” she sobbed.
The children’s father, who is a newspaper vendor, was not at home at the time of the accident.
The car, which plunged into Likhubula River, was being driven by a police officer with another cop as passenger, according to Southern Region Police spokesperson Ramsy Mushani.
According to witnesses, the driver escaped from the scene of the accident, but an angry mob descended on his colleague, striped him off his shirt and punched him at will.
It took about an hour for a contingent of police officers in seven vehicles to arrive at the scene and use tear gas to disperse the angry mob and rescue the officer who had been beaten to pulp.
Mushani confirmed the death of the two children and said police are investigating the cause of the accident.
“Indeed, we have lost two children,” he said, adding that the rescued police officer was receiving treatment at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital as we went to press.