A Zimbabwean man who allegedly abandoned his 13-year-old son, leaving the teenager to fend for himself for 19 days, has been arrested.
38-year-old Delezi Tiyapo Dube is charged with neglecting and ill-treating his child, who was found wandering the streets of Tonota scavenging for food.
It is alleged that from 30 January to 18 February, despite being the child’s immediate guardian, Dube left his son at home unattended.
The unemployed father was reportedly moving between cattleposts on the outskirts of Tonota in search of piece jobs.
Appearing before Francistown Magistrates Court on Monday, looking slightly disheveled and a little confused, Dube was also charged with being in the country illegally.
He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody, with his case adjourned until 8 March.
Meanwhile, Tonota Station Commander, Oteng Ngada told The Voice his officers arrested Dube last Thursday.
“Sometime back members of the public picked up a stray boy near Take No Time shop and handed him to the police on suspicion that he is lost. However, our preliminary investigations suggest he was abandoned,” revealed the top cop, adding the boy is not enrolled in any school.
According to Ngada, it appears father and son have been living together for some time after the boy’s mother was deported back to Zimbabwe roughly five years ago.
The child has since been taken into care at SOS Children’s Village in Francistown.
“It is a first case we registered of a foreigner ill-treating a child,” closed Ngada.