Oswell Moyo Chronicle Reporter
SEVERAL passengers were injured on Tuesday after a commuter omnibus driver lost control of his vehicle after he was allegedly assaulted, while blindfolded, by a police officer who was trying to arrest him.The vehicle rammed into another commuter bus that was giving way to a train at the Cowdray Park railway crossing.
Several passengers were taken to Mpilo Hospital for treatment, but their condition was not thought to be life threatening. A witness said a pregnant woman was seriously injured and seven other passengers, including the driver, suffered minor injuries such as bruises and facial scratches.
The police officer gave chase to the commuter omnibus in a taxi after its driver, Bekithemba Mbango, failed to stop at a roadblock in Tshabalala.
The police officer was seated behind the driver when the incident happened around 12.00PM.
A passenger told Chronicle: “The cop boarded a private taxi and then caught up with us near the Pelandaba traffic lights. He jumped into the kombi (commuter omnibus) and as neared the traffic lights in Emakhandeni, the police officer was questioning the driver on why he had disobeyed his instructions.
“He punched the driver on his shoulders while the vehicle was in motion. He put his reflector over the driver’s eyes.”
Mbango, speaking from his hospital bed at Mpilo Hospital, said: “The police officer put his bib on my eyes after assaulting me and I lost concentration. I drove into another kombi which was in front giving way to an approaching train.”
The police officer allegedly ran away after the accident.
Officer commanding Bulawayo Traffic Chief Superintendent Maxwell Chikunguru said he was not aware of the incident.