Days after being found on the wrong side of the law for carrying nine kindergarten children on a bicycle to school, Nsanje-based Mabvuto Mussa was all smiles on Monday as he took delivery of a brand-new tricycle bought by well-wishers.
Mussa, whose video went viral last week, said he is excited because the tricycle will help him transport the children to and from school faster and in a safe way.
“I am very excited with the tricycle. It will also mean more children being ferried,” said the father of two, who claimed to have been carrying the learners in that manner for three years.
Mussa said he was getting K3 000 for the roundtrip for every child from Sorjin, Nyambesa and Njobvu villages to St Joseph Nursery School, about eight kilometres away.
He said: “Parents cannot manage to walk that long to pick and drop the children. In my absence, some of the children have not even been going to school due to lack of transport.”
When the video went viral, some people were angry that Mussa’s acts were putting the lives of the children at risk, which partly led to his arrest by the police in Bangula. However, he was released on bail three hours later.
While acknowledging that he knew that he was putting the children’s lives at risk, he was quick to say he has never been involved in an accident since 2017.
Mussa said he makes two trips daily—to and from school—carrying 12 children per trip.
GCK Cameras Facebook breaking news page head Gerald Kampanikiza mobilised resources to buy Mussa the tricyle and ease transport challenges in his community.
Said Kampanikiza: “I asked him what he does with the money he gets from the business and he
said he looks after his elderly relatives in the village, his family as well as some orphans. gets from the business and he
“He was apprehensive that with what had happened he could no longer operate. His wish has always been to have a motorbike, which he said he could get at half a million kwacha.”
The well-wishers hired a vehicle to ferry Mussa and his K3 million-worth tricycle back in Nsanje.
However, some people have condemned Mussa’s act of endangering lives of the children by carrying many of them on one bicycle. The parents and guardians of the children were not spared either