Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter

FOLLOWING the publishing of the plight of three Nkulumane five siblings whose mother vanished after trekking to South Africa several years ago, residents of the city of Bulawayo and others from beyond have extended a helping hand to the children.

The three children aged, 15, 13 and 11 have been living alone in their grandparent’s home following their mother’s relocation and through the benevolence of a tenant Ms Lizinia Gumbo, who has been looking over them, they now have guardian.

The whereabouts of the mother or relatives of the children are unknown.

The Roman Catholic Church through Archbishop Alex Thomas was the first to respond to the needs of the children and immediately bought food items for a total of over 4 000 ZWL and USD 40 that was used to purchase shoes for the children as they had none.

Veteran journalist Innocent Kurwa also chipped in by donating six new blankets for the children as the were sharing one blanket.

The property they live on had a debt of over 4000 ZWL that was owed to Bulawayo City Council for unpaid water bills and as a result water had been disconnected. However, Dr Garikayi Mwale a local health practitioner and his wife, Memory donated 5000 ZWL that was used to clear the water bill and it has since been settled.

The home cut off from electricity supply and they are awaiting reconnection.

Several well-wishers and business people from across Bulawayo have donates food stuffs and clothing to aid the children since the case was made public.

One businessman in the motorcar industry who refused to be named said he was going to settle the debts being owed by the children at their various schools and pledged to assist in paying of school fees once schools resume lessons.

A Harare based organization, Mubatirapamwe Trust heard their plight too and assisted with a consignment of food staffs.

They donated mealie-meal, rice, sugar, cooking oil, cleaning detergents, salt, sugar beans, flour, soya chunks and mattresses for the children to sleep on.

“In the true spirit of Mubatirapamwe, we go wherever people are in dire need of help. We don’t want the people of Bulawayo to be forgotten because they are far from Harare where we are headquarted. We reach across boundaries to solve problems. We will knock on every door,” said Kiri Madamombe the Executive Director of Mubatirapamwe Trust.

Ms Gumbo who has been shouldering the burden of caring for the children said she was grateful for the support rendered to them so far.

“This is beyond what words can say, we have been shown amazing love by people who have donated to us. We are overwhelmed with joy by the gestures made by all well-wishers. The children are actually very happy now as they can eat regular meals now and have clothes on their backs,” she said.