This petition exists to help find and prosecute the individual who assaulted Belly Mujinga at London Victoria whilst knowingly being infected with COVID-19. This cruel and senseless act of unprovoked violence ultimately likely lead to her death at the hands of this relentless virus and the hospitalisation of her colleague.
We know how important employment is right now and most particularly the ability to be able to travel when necessary. Many essential workers rely heavily on public transportation to get to and from work, in particular trains, the tube and buses as they provide near 24/7 access to services we as a nation need most right now. These services are vital for essential workers whilst within this global pandemic. Whilst we are grateful for their continuous existence in this difficult time what we must not forget is that whilst we utilise them there are individuals on an alternative frontline, like Belly who ultimately risk their lives to keep these services running smoothly.
Belly, her colleagues and her family deserve justice. There are serious questions that need answering and changes that must be implemented in order to prevent deaths like Belly’s happening again. Belly suffered from an underlying respiratory condition but despite telling her family she “was scared for her life”, her employer decided this was not reasonable grounds to reduce her contact hours and allow her to work behind a protective screen, stop her working directly with passenger flow on Victoria’s concourse or provide her and her colleagues with adequate effective PPE. Govia Thameslink simply stated “PPE for our staff was not required”. Belly was assaulted, namely spat on whilst at work. PPE could have protected her. She should have been provided with it. This lack of protection is negligent and is a dangerous precedent that cannot be continued, the risk is simply too high.
By signing this petition you are helping to call on Govia Thameslink to provide an explanation as to why Belly was still working in direct contact with general public passenger flow whilst as her employer, they were likely aware of just how serious the risk of exposure to COVID-19 was to her, as an individual with a respiratory underlying health condition. We must also know why staff members are not being provided with adequate PPE whilst interacting with members of the public, as we may never unfortunately know if this could have saved Belly.
We also ask British Transport Police to swiftly seek to identify the individual who assaulted Belly so he can face legal repercussions. London Victoria is one of the busiest stations in London, and highly likely to still have a consistent public presence due to essential workers who commute into the city. Whether it be via independent investigation or CCTV it is imperative that this individual does not get away with assaulting a dedicated, selfless individual who was simply working to keep the nation moving in such a stressful time. Nobody deserves to be assaulted at work, your employer should protect you. It would be an injustice that an act of violence so spiteful and humiliating goes unnoticed or ignored legally.
Belly was a vital essential worker but that was just her job. She was a mother, wife, sister and friend to many and her story is although upsetting, not likely individual in nature. If we are able to protect doctors and nurses we must seek to put measures in place to adequately protect those individuals that make their journeys to work where necessary, possible. All frontline workers within Transport for London and their umbrella companies should be recognised equally and PPE should be a necessity, not a luxury.