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Another ‘mysterious’ bus dumped along Nyamapanda Road….all buses from Malawi

Local News
According to the villagers, strange and mysterious things have happened around the area.

On a stretch of tarred road, about 30 km before Mutoko Centre, a strange and enigmatic presence lay abandoned.

It is a red bus.

Due to the harsh weather conditions it had endured for several months by the roadside, its once lucrative colour has now faded and chipped off.

The windows are slowly giving in while some of the tyres are deflated.

The villagers, in Hoyuyu, are confused as to why the bus owners are failing to tow it to a safer place, eight months after they promised to return and attend to the breakdown.

According to the villagers, strange and mysterious things have happened around the area.

Some of the claims sound too good to be true.

“The bus has been there for six months, the owner said she will come back for it but she hasn’t. She is in South Africa,” said George Denga whose homestead is just a stone throw from the abandoned bus.

Denga told NewsDay Weekender how the bus mysteriously changed its position.

“The bus was precariously parked and it was dangerous to other road users.

“The owner communicated from South Africa saying we should not worry about it since it will be moved to a safer position,” recalled Denga.

“While asleep, I heard a noise and when I woke up in the morning I realised that the bus had moved from the tarred road. It was scary.”

The bus, a Hino 500 and with South African registration plates, currently has its interior intact while its bonnet is open.

“The bus crew took the engine with them. When the bus broke down, they said it had developed a fault on its crankshaft,” recalled Denga.

He added that the 75-seater bus had 120 passengers coming from Malawi enroute to South Africa.

“ Some of them were seated on 20-litre containers on the aisle. They took refuge in my field and would cook for them for days. They refused to return to Malawi saying they will have to make it to South Africa.

“They were then ferried in batches by other buses until all left this place. Some called me notifying me that they made it to South Africa and are already employed. But my worry is why are the bus owners failing to take their machine; it has been more than eight months now,” recalled Denga.

Denga has since put a fireguard around the bus to prevent it from being razed by veld fires.

Another villager who declined to be named said there were traditional healers in the bus when it came to a halt in Mutoko.

“They told us that 21 of the passengers were traditional healers. They also revealed that the bus had developed another mechanical fault in Mozambique. Strange things do occur around the area; we hear unusual sounds,” said the villager.

“At one point, police from Mutoko guarded the bus before they were told to leave by the owners as nothing would happen to it. True to their words, nothing has happened. The only thing that is missing is the engine that the bus crew took along with. The wipers, bolts and nuts and small things that can be stolen are still intact.”

Mutoko South legislator Isaac Tasikani said: “It is true that there is a bus abandoned along the Harare-Nyamapanda highway between Cornerstore and Mutoko Centre. The bus developed a mechanical fault in the middle of the road and was later towed to the roadside to avoid road traffic accidents. It has been there for some time and I heard it is being guarded by a family that lives nearby.”

Former Zanu PF Mashonaland East youth league spokesperson Mickey Mhingidzi who is based in Mutoko said the bus has been abandoned.

“The red bus has been there; it seems this highway has become a dumping road for buses from Malawi. We urge the authorities to look into it or to come up with modalities that will see such buses being towed to safer areas,” said Mhingidzi.

The red bus is just less than 20km from the white “talking” bus that was dumped along the same highway several years ago.

The luxurious Volvo bus has been grounded near Magaya bus stop between Murewa and Mutoko since 2019.

The bus has also survived vandalism and theft from both locals and scrap metal scavengers from Harare or the nearby Murewa and Mutoko towns

Several attempts to have it towed by thieves have failed and has since moved a few metres from where it developed a mechanical fault.

The white bus is reportedly owned by a Malawian national who told the villagers that he will be monitoring it from his base in Blantyre.

It might sound stranger than fiction, but both buses have been topical among travellers as to why they have survived vandalism and only being dumped along the same highway a short distance apart.

Both buses are dumped in Mutoko South constituency.

For Denga, the sight of the bus brings memories of how he spent four bags of maize to feed the stranded passengers who had camped in his field.

Today, he is confused as to why it has survived being ripped off by highway thieves.

“It is scary. The young people would have even stolen headlamps or anything sellable.

“I pray that the owners come and tow it away,” Denga said.

The bus remains safe by the roadside without any security guard in sight as it is being monitored superstitiously, villagers claim.

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