BY REJOICE NCUBE / PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
A ZIMBABWE United Passenger Company (Zupco) bus yesterday ran over a female police officer who was manning a roadblock along Khami Road in Bulawayo, killing her on the spot.
Police confirmed the fatal accident.
“Constable Parity Makaitei Karimazondo was on traffic enforcement when a bus contracted to Zupco, which was travelling due west, hit her while trying to cross the road northwards. She died on the spot. Investigations are currently in progress,” Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in a statement yesterday.
When Southern Eye arrived at the scene of the accident at around 8am, police had already cordoned off the area, while the body of the policewoman was still lying in the middle of the road covered by a blanket.
A witness said the bus driver failed to reduce speed while approaching a police checkpoint and ran over the female police officer, killing her instantly.
“It appears the driver of the bus did not reduce speed while approaching a police road block. He was driving towards the western suburbs from the city centre. This prompted him to make a sudden stop when he noticed the police officer, but it was too late and he ran over her,” the witness, who declined identification, said.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, Bulawayo commuters have started boycotting Zupco buses after the parastatal increased fares this week by 100% to $80.
Commuters are now resorting to private cars and kombis.
In a survey done by Southern Eye yesterday at commuter pick-up points around the city, it was evident most of the people who got in town used private cars and kombis, which are still charging $50.
One commuter, Kudzanai Moyo, said government-owned transport was subsidised and should not be expensive.
“Zupco should not charge exorbitant fares. Why should we go for Zupco now? Private cars are charging $50,” she said, adding that Zupco should reduce fares.
Other passengers said they were not happy with Zupco due to overcrowding passengers.
Passenger Association of Zimbabwe co-ordinator Tafadzwa Goliati said fares should not be increased during a COVID-19 lockdown period.
“Zupco demonstrated that it does not have passengers at heart. The country has just gone under a lockdown and people who use those buses are going to experience salary cuts, and at the same time, people still cannot afford prices of foodstuffs which have increased,” he said.
“However, there is a danger when passengers use private transport as they might get robbed.”
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