Wednesday, 27 September 2017

TOUTS KILL HARARE MAN (updated)

A Harare man died yesterday morning after he was manhandled by touts while intending to board a bus to Mutare near Roadport Bus Terminus along Robert Mugabe Road.


Mathias Gore of Glen Norah C was in the company of his family when the incident occurred around 5.30am. Gore, who was on his way to Mozambique, was also robbed of his wallet containing an undisclosed amount of cash and personal documents, including his passport.
When The Herald visited the scene, people were jostling to catch a glimpse of Mr Gore’s body while policemen were barring buses and touts from operating from the area. According to a neighbour, Simbarashe Mandivanzira who was accompanying the now deceased to Mozambique, they arrived at the bus terminus early in the morning intending to board a bus to Mutare en-route to Mozambique for a church service.

“When we arrived, some touts and conductors from a bus company called Smart Express started harassing and dragging Mr Gore in a bid to force him to board their bus, but he refused.

“We later boarded a bus from a company called Bodyguard and while in the bus, he informed his wife that he couldn’t breathe properly. We took him off the bus and removed the shoes and he passed on a few minutes later,” he said.

Mr Gore’s widow, Leticia said her husband was diabetic and hypertensive. She said it was very painful that they left home in a jovial mood only to come and lose her husband by the road side. National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said investigations were still in progress.

“Information we have so far is that touts pushed him and harassed him to force him to board buses which were not of his choice. During the process they mugged him and he lost money, his passport and other valuables which we are yet to verify. This is totally uncalled for and we are going to take action. That I can assure you,” he said.

Chief Supt Nyathi said they were going to engage the Harare City Council to ensure that bus operators are banned from the area. “The ZRP would like to express condolences to the family of the deceased and we want to make it clear that we are going to ensure that no bus or commuter omnibus would be allowed to pick up passengers from this area. We are going to engage the Harare Municipality and also direct them to ensure that this rank is abolished forthwith,” he said.
He said they were also going to ensure that all touts operating in and around the city were arrested for continuing to engage in illegal activities. “On a daily basis we arrest about 30 touts and most of them are taken to court where they are made to pay fines.
“We are appealing for all stakeholders in the judiciary system to ensure that deterrent penalties are instituted so that this tout menace is dealt with once and for all.

“We are also going to take action against operators who are picking up passengers from undesignated picking points and those who flout traffic rules and regulations,” Chief Supt Nyathi said.

He also warned police officers in the habit of taking money from touts to give them free reign that they faced arrest. Passenger Association of Zimbabwe President Mr Tafadzwa Goliati said last week they engaged the ZRP following an increase in cases in which passengers were being harassed by the touts.

“We notified the police on such cases and we informed them that this was rampant at Fourth Street, Showground, Mbare and KuMbudzi. It is very sad that such an incident has happened. Herald

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