Wednesday, 3 November 2021

MAN TORCHES CARS AT CAR PARK

A SUSPECTED mental patient went berserk and allegedly stoned four cars at an overnight carpark in Bulawayo’s Mpopoma suburb before torching two of them, reducing them to shells while security guards were sleeping on duty.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of yesterday at a carpark situated at the intersection of Nketa Drive and Hyde Park in Mpopoma.

One of the burnt cars, a Mazda BT50 twin cab is valued at US$20 000 while the value of the other one, a Toyota Hilux twin cab could not be ascertained. However, the market price for a brand-new Toyota Hilux D-4D 2013 model is US$50 000.

The Toyota Hilux belongs to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) while the Mazda BT 50 is owned by an individual.

When a Chronicle news crew visited the carpark yesterday, the owner of the Mazda BT50 who declined to be named was at the scene assessing the extent of the damage. He also refused to comment.

“I can’t talk to you right now as you can see that I am not emotionally sound. Talk to the owner of the carpark,” he said.

Sources said fire fighters from the Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Services department were called to the scene and quelled the fire, which had already extensively damaged the two cars.

The owner of the carpark, Mr Sibangani Malunga said the incident occurred between 1AM and 2PM.

“The incident occurred between 1AM and 2AM and it appears a mentally ill man strayed into my premises while my two security guards were fast asleep. He damaged four cars before burning two other cars, one of which belongs to an NGO,” he said.

Mr Malunga said the incident is likely to cost his business.

“This is my only source of living and therefore with this unfortunate incident, some of my loyal clients are likely to ditch me. This has cost the owners of the cars a fortune and it is clear that this has affected them emotionally,” he said.

“Police are now handling the matter, but on my side, I will also find ways of getting to the bottom of this mater.”

Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said investigations were underway.

“I can confirm that we are investigating a case in which two cars were burnt to ashes while four others were extensively damaged. The incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday at a carpark in Mpopoma and so far, no arrests have been made,” he said.

Insp Ncube said they were yet to establish the value of the damaged cars.

Recently, a Bulawayo woman disappeared when the car she was driving caught fire in Cowdray Park. The woman who was driving a Toyota Corolla registration number ACK 5634 disappeared soon after it caught fire. The incident occurred just after the Cowdray Park rail level crossing.  Chronicle

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