Council boss stops to pick up passengers, fires pistol to fend off touts

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By Tonderai Saharo

A Zaka rural district council employee was fined $130 for discharging an unlicensed firearm in a bid to scare away touts who had swarmed his vehicle demanding money for picking up passengers at a bus stop from which they were operating.

Abel Chivasa, who is chief engineer with the rural authority, pleaded guilty to possessing and discharging a firearm without a valid licence.

This is after he had appeared before Gutu resident magistrate Victor Mohamadi recently.

Prosecutor Kudakwashe Muza told the court that on Christmas Eve, Chivasa was driving his private vehicle, a Toyota Mark 2 from Harare, heading for Zaka when he stopped at Mpandawana growth point in Gutu to pick up some passengers.

Court heard that a number of passengers boarded his vehicle but a group of touts emerged and demanded money from him.

Court was further told that the touts surrounded his vehicle, making it difficult for him to drive off.

An irate Chivasa pulled a star pistol and fired three shots in the air, sending the touts scurrying for cover all over. He then drove off.

A member of the Zimbabwe National Army who witnessed the incident, took the registration numbers of Chivasa’s vehicle, later reporting the matter to the police.

Police recovered the star pistol and one round of ammunition from Chivasa who was found to be without a valid certificate for the lethal weapon as it had expired February 1 this year.