Nelias Shiri, Chronicle Reporter
A pregnant woman was allegedly shot and injured by police during a high-speed chase in Lupane, Matabeleland North along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway after boarding a suspected stolen kombi with her two children.
The kombi ended up plunging into a river. The driver and a teenager who was travelling with him escaped.
The woman had boarded the kombi in Sabela Village going to Lupane Centre enroute to Bulawayo and police started pursuing the commuter omnibus suspected to have been stolen.
They opened fire and shot the woman.
In an interview at the family home in Bulawayo’s Pumula South, Ms Sithembiso Moyo (28) said she was shot on December 28 last year near Lupane Centre and she sustained a deep wound and fractured left shoulder.
Ms Moyo said inside the kombi, there were three people the driver, a woman and a teenager.
She said while heading towards Lupane Centre, three police vehicles started chasing their vehicle and then shot at it from behind.
The driver and a teenager escaped and the granny who had also been in the kombi had been a hitchhiker.
“As we were heading towards Lupane Centre I heard bullets hitting the vehicle. I then hurriedly tried to hide my two children under the seats so that they could be safe from the bullets. In the process that is when a bullet hit my left shoulder,” said Ms Moyo.
“The driver and the teenager then jumped from the moving vehicle and fled before the kombi fell off a bridge and stopped. Police tried to track them down but failed.”
Ms Moyo was then ferried by an ambulance to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo where she was admitted. She said she was discharged after some days as there were no specialists to assist her.
Ms Moyo revealed that during her admission to the hospital some members of police from Criminal Investigations Department (CID) visited her.
She said she was appealing for assistance to get specialist treatment as she was in pain.
“I buy painkillers for R300 every week and I am dressed by an individual here once a day, instead of twice as per doctor’s instruction. I am charged R50 for dressing daily which is difficult for me to afford.
“The police officer who shot me, a Nkala, promised to foot medical expenses but he has gone silent,” said Ms Moyo in intense grief.
She said she is still traumatised because of the shooting.
“I’m five months pregnant so I am not comfortable and this has disturbed the future of my children. I cannot sleep at night. I sleep on one side because of pain with no help,” said Ms Moyo.
Her mother Ms Innocencia Tshuma (56), said she has been disturbed mentally by the terrible incident.
“I don’t know where I will get the money to meet the medical bills. What I want first is the treatment of my child,” said Ms Tshuma.
Contacted for comment, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was still looking into the matter.