A businessman who is locked in a bitter dispute with Vice President Kembo Mohadi survived an assassination attempt on Wednesday after two gunmen opened fire at him as he was travelling from Lutumba Growth point to Beitbridge town.
Oscar Chiromo the director of Beitbridge Transit Shed (for imported vehicles), Chiromo Business Enterprises which owns a chain of bottle stores, butcheries and an abattoir suffered minor injuries after one of the bullets grazed his arm.
Chiromo opened the Beitbridge Transit Shed, a pre-owned vehicle warehouse, after a bitter split with Vice-President Kembo Mohadi who runs a similar business trading as Malindi Transit Shed.
Mohadi and Chiromo have been in and out of the courts in connection with about US$50 000 Mohadi claims from his former partner.
The gunmen tracked Chiromo from his abattoir at Lutumba growth point to Andrews area some 10km before Beitbridge town.
“I was travelling in a Honda Fit with a colleague around 9 am. When we were 10 km towards Beitbridge, there was a grey Nissan Xtrail in front of us which slowed down to allow us to overtake,” said the businessman.
“We had initially spotted the car near the abattoir but suspected nothing. I was seated on the passenger’s seat of the Honda Fit.
“As we were completing the overtaking process one the two men in the Nissan Xtrail shot at me twice, but fortunately, one bullet missed, and the other grazed on my arm”.
Chiromo said after shooting at him, the two assailants slowed down and made a U-turn, and sped off along the Beitbridge-Masvingo road.
He said his colleague stopped the vehicle before they called the police who rushed to the scene.
“It’s a miracle, I hope they get arrested soon. They really wanted me dead,” said Chiromo.
The police officer commanding Beitbridge district, Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo said the matter was still under investigations.
Cases of hitmen targeting businessmen and foreign currency dealers have become common in Beitbridge.
In 2014, another businessman from the border town was savagely killed by three unknown assailants who broke into his house at night.
Mr Fanuel Mulaudzi had both his hands tied on the back with an electric cable before being struck with an axe seven times on the back and head.
He was a renowned cattle farmer and he also owned a fleet of commuter omnibuses, a bottle store and butchery.
The motive of the murder could not be ascertained as the three suspects made their escape in his Toyota land cruiser and two cell phones.
The assailants later dumped the truck near the council dumpsite and are believed to have escaped to South Africa through an illegal crossing point along the Limpopo River. Chronicle/NewsDay