Dramatis personae of Matsha tragedy

The burst tyre from the bus PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
The burst tyre from the bus PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES

Dramatis personae of Matsha tragedy

S & CD office

The Social and Community Development (S&CD) office is responsible for the Remote Areas Dwellers Programme. The Kweneng District Council’s S&CD office is therefore responsible for assisting remote dwellers from Matsha College with transport to their respective settlements. It appears authorities remotely sent a truck with a driver and his assistant to Matsha College without due care.


The driver and his assistant were both injured. Police say the load of the truck is the responsibility of the driver. Investigations show that the driver and his assistant did not have a list of the passengers.  Police on Monday said the driver could face charges, should it be found that his vehicle was overloaded. “We are yet to determine whether the truck could accommodate over 126 people together with luggage,” Botswana Police Service, Assistant Commissioner Engemadzo Sechele said.

Matsha Head

The Matsha College headmaster, Phodiso Phori, is a troubled man. The Mmegi team met him on Monday evening, where he was working late through meetings on the vandalised school administration offices.

The school staffroom resembled a war zone with shattered windows, plain-clothes police officers and tired looking teachers walking through the corridors.

The headmaster directed our questions to Education Director Onalenna Senwedi, who was based in the headmaster’s office that appeared like a general’s war room. Phori was however not coping like a war general.

He appeared troubled and stressed. After getting permission from education authorities, he fielded Mmegi questions with Senwedi. Phori said that his school never transported students by  bus.

He, instead, accused the Kweneng District Council, which he says holds the responsibility of transporting students.


At the end of their final examinations all the students may have thought of was home,  home and home. The two trucks and one bus were parked at their usual pick-up spot and it was time to go home.  The students identified the Kweneng truck with its yellow band on the front doors and loaded it with their bags. School authorities say there were 157 students from Kweneng.

Most of them joined their friends and decided to use the truck because it must have been fun travelling as a group without any authorities. Most of them were aged 18 years and deemed adults.  However, it may have been too much to expect them to refuse to use the truck as this was the norm.


Most of the parents are poor rural dwellers and do not have many options regarding the mode of transport for their children. Certainly government did not expect these poor parents to complain about the trucking of their children.


All the councillors and even members of parliament from these areas know about the RADP and that government mostly uses trucks to ferry students. Politicians and senior government officials have officiated at events where student groups that provide entertainment, arrive in trucks.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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