HARARE – Business came to a halt at the Harare municipal stores last week when a man believed to be a transporter attempted to take away his life after four of his commuter omnibuses had been clamped and confiscated for operating at undesignated areas.
The man only identified as Tinei Jacobo, reportedly tried to hang himself at the council premises before the rope snapped and he fell to the ground. With a swollen neck, the man was found lying helpless by a municipal cop before he was reportedly taken into the offices for counselling.
Sources close to the incident say that the man was irked by the continuous ‘persecution’ of his kombis by municipal cops and the fines he had to pay to have the vehicles released, prompting him to resort to take his life.
“This guy tried to hang himself at the shade and the rope he wanted to use snapped and he was found lying there by the security. He was taken into the offices as people were gathering and was eventually taken home to his wife for counselling,” said a witness.
“He was crying that four of his kombis have been clamped and towed to this place for the third time this week and that it was no longer viable for him to operate,” added the witness. Unconfirmed reports were that soon after the incident, the vehicles were released to him.
A council source revealed the reason why the vehicles are picked, “The vehicles are clamped for picking up or dropping passengers at undesignated areas. If you park in the allocated ranks, there is no problem but if you are caught out of line you will be nabbed.
“One is required to pay US$112 for the smaller vehicles and indeed he was to pay a fortune and there are a lot of channels followed to have the vehicle released.”
Other operators at the scene had no kind words for Jacobo whom they described as a man with a faint heart and unsuitable for the business.
“You cannot kill yourself over such a matter but you have to face it and negotiate for you to survive in the business. It is hard and the fines are exorbitant, paying a minimum of $112 and for four vehicles, it’s a lot but you cannot kill yourself,” said an operator who preferred anonymity. H Metro