*First time visitor to Gaborone gets stranded at bus rank
*Taxi drivers assist with food, accommodation & bus fare
Gaborone taxi drivers this week showed they have a heart when they came to the rescue of a village girl who found herself stranded at the city bus rank.
A first time visitor to the capital city, 18- year old Lydia Mabura from Makaleng village in the north-east district ended up hungry and homeless on Sunday after she was stood up by her ‘cousin’ who had allegedly lured her to Gaborone with a job promise.
Speaking to The Voice on Monday afternoon, Mabura said she left Francistown on Sunday morning after receiving a call from her cousin the previous day with exciting news that he had found her a job at a hair salon in Gaborone.
“I borrowed money for the bus fare and left the following morning excited about the prospects of a job in Gaborone.
I called my cousin when we got to Mahalapye and he assured me that he would pick me up at the bus rank; however when I contacted him on arrival he told me that he was in Jwaneng and said I should just wait at the bus rank,” said Mabura.
The visibly shaken young girl who did not know anybody else in Gaborone was then left stranded for hours at the bus rank with no money for food and transport.
She said her cousin whom she identified as Lotto Matenge Mojase continued to ignore her calls even as darkness approached until he eventually switched off the phone, leaving her at her wits end.
Taxi driver Charles Mogotsi said that they spotted the damsel in distress around 10pm sitting alone in the dark.
“We had seen her earlier and we started to wonder why she had not boarded a bus yet. We approached her and she related her story.
Attempts to call her cousin were futile because his phone was off ,” said Mogotsi Mogotsi, 30, said that at around 11pm when all the taxi drivers were preparing to knock-off he volunteered to accommodate the girl for the night.
“I called my partner to let her know that I was coming home with a guest. She understood the situation and we took her in and offered her food,” he said.
The following morning taxi drivers contributed P10 each to raise money for the girls’ bus fare back to Makaleng.
They even contacted her mother to let her know that her daughter was in safe hands and that she would be arriving in Francistown that afternoon.
At 2pm, Mabura bid her Good Samaritans farewell and boarded a Francistown bound Seabelo bus, with P225 cash in hand.
However by Wednesday the young woman’s mother still did know the whereabouts of her daughter.
Chimani Mabura was in panic mode on Wednesday afternoon during a telephone interview with The Voice.
“I was very relieved when those taxi drivers phoned to let me know that she was safe. But I began to be worried when she did not arrive.
I tried calling her but she ignored my calls and I don’t know what to think,” she said.
The distressed mother said she was against her daughter’s idea of travelling to Gaborone to look for a job as she felt it was too far.
The mother revealed that the so called cousin who stood her daughter up was not a cousin after all but one of her best friends from school.
“I asked her why she could not look for a job in Francistown where I would be able to see her easily. She left for Gaborone without my consent and now I have no idea where she is, which is what I feared would happen in the first place” said Mabura.
Mabura’s employer Kemo Moagi said the young lady has broken her mother’s heart.
“She has not stopped crying since that girl disappeared, I’m not sure that she is even fit to do the interview,” she said.
The mother however would not report the daughter as missing yet because she knows that she could be out there having a good time at the expense of worried old woman.