By Lisa Nyanhongo
THE ongoing police blitz against commuter omnibuses and pirate taxis has claimed its first victims after a police officer threw a spike at a moving minibus, resulting in it overturning and killing four people.
The incident, which has left the country riled and raging, took place in Mutare Wednesday morning.
Eight other people were seriously injured.
The kombi rolled over before hitting a precast wall, where it lay on its side. Onlookers desperately tried to save the trapped passengers who were screaming for help.
Videos circulating on social media show the female police officer sobbing at the scene after she was surrounded by an angry mob. Some of the people could heard demanding that she brings the dead back to life.
According to witnesses, after throwing the spike and causing the accident, the police officers tried to flee but were stopped by the people.
ZRP spokesman, assistant commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident stating that the kombi burst its tyre without laying blame or mentioning the police’s role in the calamity.
“The vehicle had a left tyre burst after the roadblock and it overturned before landing on a security wall at Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED) Mutare Depot this morning at 0700 hours. As a result, four people died, while eight others were injured,” said Nyathi in a statement.
Nyathi said they are still investigating the matter.
The incident comes at a time the police have launched a blitz against private transporters around the country.
The Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) monopoly has left passengers stranded, with some Harare residents forced to walk several kilometers to and from home.
In addition, the operation has resulted in fare hikes amid a seemingly never-ending economic crisis.