ELEVEN people were injured, three of them seriously, when a commuter omnibus overturned after overzealous municipal police officers threw spikes at it while travelling into the city centre.
REPORT BY OUR STAFF
Some of the injured passengers were ferried to Parirenyatwa hospital. The incident occurred along Harare Street, metres away from Market Square bus terminus.
A crowd which gathered at the scene immediately meted out instant justice on one of the municipal policemen. A police officer attending the scene said the driver was attempting to evade the municipal officer.
“He had to be swiftly whisked away to save his life, as the public became enraged. They were baying for his blood,” said the officer who refused to identify himself.
A witness who only identified himself as Moyo blamed the municipal police officers for the accident. He said due to “overexcitement”, the officers threw spikes at the commuter omnibus thereby endangering the lives of many passengers.
Contacted for comment, council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi said commuter omnibuses were no longer allowed in the central business district.
He refuted allegations that overzealous municipal police officers carelessly threw spikes at commuter omnibuses.
“Look, that [throwing of spikes] happens under exceptional circumstances. When the driver is told to stop then he must do so. If he doesn’t stop what do you expect the officer to do?” he asked.
Gwindi instead accused some commuter omnibus drivers of abducting police officers and passengers.
Asked to comment on the dangers posed to the commuting public, he insisted that passengers should instead “turn on the driver for refusing to stop when told to do so by a municipal policeman’.
The incident was only a snapshot of the spate of daily confrontations between the council and commuter omnibus drivers.
In 2010, eight people were injured after a pair of municipal officers threw a spike in front of a moving commuter omnibus in a bid to stop it after accusing the driver of flouting the city’s parking by-laws.
The commuter omnibus then overturned and crashed into another vehicle at Corner Julius Nyerere and Robert Mugabe in the central business district. The two municipal police officers fled the scene after noticing the damage they had caused.