By Patrick Chitumba
Business came to a halt yesterday in Gweru’s central business district when a popular commuter omnibus driver was crushed to death by a haulage truck at the intersection of Main Street and Lobengula Avenue.
Tawanda “Buju” Chinobva, also a mechanic, was trying to cross the busy road by going underneath the slow-moving truck at around 5.30PM but ended up being crushed.
Traffic police had a torrid time clearing the road to have access to the spot where Buju’s mangled body was.
A smudge of thick blood mixed with bones stretched for about two metres to where the body lay.
The driver of the Harare-based truck which was enroute to Bulawayo refused to identify himself saying he needed clearance from his employer. He said he was shocked to hear whistles and shouts from people asking him to stop the truck.
He said he had stopped his truck at the controlled intersection and was just starting to move as traffic in front of him had cleared when he had to stop.
“I stopped my truck before the intersection of Main Street and Lobengula Avenue because of traffic in front of me. When I put the truck into first gear and it started moving, people waved frantically and shouted for me to stop,” said the driver.
“I didn’t see or hear anything other than the shouts before I stopped only to be shocked to see that the truck had dragged this person underneath for about two metres. I didn’t see him go under the truck,” he said.
Witnesses told The Chronicle that Buju appeared to be drunk as he crossed Lobengula Avenue from Total Midlands Centre side to Toyota Garage side.
They said he appeared impatient and decided to go under the haulage truck.
The witness said he might have mistimed his movement because the truck which appeared stationary started moving and crushed him to death.
“I wanted to cross the road but there was a lot of traffic. I saw this guy go underneath the truck to cross the road from below the truck. Before we knew it there was a huge yell and the guy was dragged for about two metres.
“It’s just that he is known otherwise it was going to be different to identify the body as the face was also crushed,” said Mr Thabani Siziba, a witness.
Acting Midlands Provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende could not be reached for comment. The Chronicle