Reported ‘missing’ for three months, Emmanuel Zengeya is reunited with his family



By Shelton Chiyangwa

Journey back to Masvingo

We travelled by DNC bus to Harare and dropped off in Masvingo. Emmanuel’s parents were waiting for us at the Exor Garage.

They had braved the cold of the night to wait for us. We arrived at around 1am, and hired a cab to their residence at Kyle College, about 15km from Masvingo CBD.

Emmanuel Zengeya disappeared from home about three months ago. He apparently had stolen some money and after he was reprimanded, he took off for South Africa. He says he crossed the Limpopo River at night, and walked through the bush for some 30km after Musina, reaching Baobab where he met some street kids, including Innocent.

It is unclear how they ended up in Johannesburg, but they were found at a garage by Mai Vee, who was in Johannesburg en-route to Port Elizabeth.

Mai Vee then contacted ZiMSN and that is how the boys got into our care.


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Meeting Emmanuel’s parents

On arrival at Kyle College we sat down with Emmanuel’s parents and talked into the wee hours of the night. His father narrated how he was raised and how he got married and how they are such a happy family, blessed with four children.

He explained how he struggles to get his children the best education, saying he does now owe any fees at the schools for his children.

He narrated how Emmanuel is in terms of his character and behaviour – that he is such a responsible child, humble and loves church.

The family was shocked with him running away as it doesn’t even relate to the person that he is.

He had never come home late, and has no friends who influence him.

The family was devastated after he disappeared, and his mother would roam around the streets of Masvingo – days on end, holding a picture and asking streets kids if they had ever seen Emmanuel.

The pain of not knowing where her child was affected her health but this had all changed since the day they heard of the news that the boy had been found.

Police, church, neighbours

The family had reported the missing child the day after he disappeared. The police at the Masvingo Provincial had been very helpful and had contacted Interpol to widen their search.

The ZCC church had been very supportive with prayers and counselling for the family.
The mother explained how it was difficult for her to even eat each day that came without knowing where her first born child was.

The Zengeya family is small family. The father works at Kyle College and the mother does domestic work in nearby suburbs.

They earn little and yet they can afford to put food on the table and take their children to school.

Going back to school

Emmanuel is going back to school in September. The headmaster Captain Moyo said that Emmanuel should come to school as soon possible. Emmanuel is in form 3 at the local school.

The teachers – even though we didn’t meet any of them since its a school holiday – have reportedly pledged to support the boy to catch up with his schoolwork. They will speak to other learners to welcome him back without having to bully or remind him of the past that happened.

We as ZiMSN have pledged to continue supporting Emmanuel as he goes back to school and reintegrates with his family and friends.

Our wish is to mentor him to be the best that he wants in life.We are expecting him to come to PE for holidays. Our wish is to see him sail through to Varsity.

DNC buses

DNC buses have always been there for the Zim community in Port Elizabeth. The owner Mr Dennis Jakopo offered us the free ticket after he was made aware that Emmanuel was ready to go back to Zimbabwe

We have received a lot of support from DNC even on funeral or sickness. The company gives back to the community and we are so delighted. We encourage all travellers to continue choosing DNC. Their service is reliable too and the staff is very professional and helpful.

ZiMSN department of social welfare

Otilia Wafawarova heading ZiMSN department of Social welfare equally played a crucial role in the reunion of Emmanuel and his family. Emmanuel’s mother can be heard mentioning Otilia’s name in the video.

She had this to say, “My heart is content. Nothing is satisfying more than seeing a happy family reunion. Our efforts were not in vain and thats enough reward. Now my wish is that Emanuel goes back to the good boy his parents cherished. I’ve known the family since childhood and the mother is a distant cousin. I felt for them, I felt the pain everyday. Their joy was priceless, it made all efforts worth it.”

Pastor Chris Mapingure, who was the custodian to Emmanuel during his stay in Port Elizabeth was equally grateful that Emmanuel had finally reunited with his parents and siblings.

Zimbabwean children roaming the streets in Polokwane

“We are glad that the family has finally united with their child,” said Pastor Mapingure.

The decorated Chairman of the Zimbabwe Migrants Support Network added that they were now concerned about Zimbabwean street kids roaming the streets of Polokwane and they will soon device means to get them back to their families.

“It has also emerged that there are a lot of children staying on the streets in Polokwane. As an organisation we shall embark on a program to take all these children to their parents,” said Pastor Mapingure.

“I would like to thank all members of the Zimbabwe Migrants Support Network who assisted on the upkeep of the children whilst they stayed with us. I thank you all,” said Pastor Mapingure.

What this means for ZiMSN

The entire episode perfectly fits in the supreme humanitarian objective of the Zimbabwe Migrants Support Network.

The organization was primarily formed to bridge the long existing gap of helping migrant Zimbabweans on various issues affecting them in the republic.
It is with great pleasure, as the holy book asserts in Genesis chapter 4 verse 7 that when you do good, won’t you feel gratified. The organization has done a good gesture and therefore has every reason to be happy.

As an organization, we cannot overlook the good work done by various Zimbabweans who contribute both monetarily and in kind towards the day to day operations of the organization. Without your support, we couldn’t be talking of this issue as one successful story.

Zimbabweans, they say united we stand and divided we fall and I say lets travel together, definitely we will reach far.

Chiyangwa is Secretary General of ZiMSN.


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