A 26-YEAR-OLD bus conductor who allegedly preys on minors has reportedly impregnated six teenagers in Bulawayo's Mzilikazi and Makokoba suburbs. The six teenagers are all expecting, while the conductor, Gift Siluma of Makokoba, also has a 20-month-old child with a woman from the same suburb.
Parents of the pregnant teenagers – aged between 14 and 19 – yesterday said Siluma goes around with a bunch of cash which he uses to lure their children to his house.
They said he only gives them small amounts ranging between $1 and $5 and dupes them into believing he owns the King Lion buses that ply inter-city routes.
One of the six teenagers, Jeena Sibanda, 19, who is seven months pregnant, said she fell in love with Siluma about two years ago.
Sibanda said Siluma used to be a loving boyfriend until she told him she was pregnant.
"I dated Gift for about two years only for him to turn his back on me after I fell pregnant. I didn't know about his affairs with other girls until March when I went to stay with him. My mother chased me away from home when she discovered that I was pregnant," said Sibanda.
She said upon arriving at Siluma's house in Makokoba, she found two other pregnant girls claiming he had promised to marry them.
"Gift (Siluma) initially said he'd take care of me and my baby but after I went to his house, I discovered that there were two other pregnant girls. While I was there, three other teens came to the house saying Gift had made them pregnant," said Sibanda.
She gave a detailed account of how Siluma and his other "girlfriends" mistreated her while she was at his house.
"He used to abuse me. He would make me sleep on the floor with no blankets. I'd go for days without eating while he took young girls from the suburb out to eat at expensive restaurants. My mother eventually came to collect me and I left the other two girls at his house," said Sibanda.
Jeena's mother, Thembi, said she made a report at Mzilikazi Police Station after she discovered how Siluma was abusing her. Thembi said the charges were dropped following intervention from Siluma's family.
"We made a police report after we discovered that Siluma was abusing my daughter but his relatives said I was wasting my time because he's stubborn and they'd since given up on him. I decided to withdraw the case.
"He always brags that he is not afraid of the police because they are all his friends. We then decided to go to Musasa Project for assistance but we were told to come back after the baby was born for them to help us further," she said.
Thembi said Siluma had not said a word to them neither had he offered any financial assistance since her daughter left his house last month. Siluma hung up as soon as this reporter identified herself, when called for comment. "Yes, it's Gift, who are you and what are you calling me for, what do you want?" he asked before hanging up.
On the second attempt, a few seconds after the first, Siluma said: "Wrong number. It's Chicco (his young brother), I don't know where Gift is."
Other affected parents refused to open up, saying they were "dealing" with the issue.