Abel Zhakata – Senior Reporter
THREE people were killed while several others were seriously injured in a nasty road accident blamed on the actions of a bogus law enforcement agent who snatched the steering wheel from a commuter omnibus (kombi) driver at high speed.The accident happened in Zimunya, just outside Mutare, at the 19km peg along the Mutare-Masvingo Highway on Monday morning.
As the bogus agent, who later died at Mutare Provincial Hospital after his legs were broken in the crush, attempted to arrest the kombi crew on allegations of flouting traffic regulations, the driver refused to stop.
The deceased then grabbed the steering wheel in the ensuing commotion resulting in the kombi veering off the road, overturned several times before landing in a ditch.
Passengers and luggage were strewn all over. Two of the passengers died on the spot.
Witnesses revealed that since the bogus agent was acting alone, the kombi crew became suspicious of his actions.
“The guy was wearing a blue work suit. He boarded the commuter omnibus like a genuine passenger at an undesignated bus terminus near the Sakubva Swimming Pool. The kombi was going to Masvingo. While on board he suddenly told the driver that he was under arrest for loading at an undesignated point.
“The driver did not stop. He drove the vehicle at high speed towards Zimunya and upon realising that the kombi crew was fleeing with him the deceased agent then snatched the steering wheel resulting in the accident,” said a witness.
Hundreds of residents from the nearby Zimunya Township thronged the scene of the accident.
Some of the passengers who survived the crash teamed up with passersby and vented their anger on the agent for causing the mishap.
Deputy Manicaland police spokesman Assistant Inspector Luxon Chananda said traffic cops were investigating the accident.
He said those injured were receiving treatment at Mutare Provincial Hospital.