Thursday, 16 December 2021

NEGLIGENT MOTORIST ARRESTED 19 YEARS LATER

A 44-year-old motorist has been arrested after 19 years after he allegedly ran over a seven-year-old girl in 2002 before her leg was amputated.

Eliot Chinomwaza, of Ruwa committed the crime in 2002 when he was a driver and his case was not finalised before he left for Botswana.

The accused person returned home in 2016 and was arrested on Tuesday over negligent driving.

He hit Chipo Zhento now 26, who was in grade three and she is now seeking justice.

The case was reported under CR 23/2002 and the then investigating officer died in 2013 while the case was still pending.

The matter is expected to appear in court today for trial at Mbare Magistrates’ Court.

Chipo grew up traumatised asking on what happened to her leg and the situation worsened when she was told nothing was done to the accused.

The accident occurred along First Street Road in Kuwadzana.

“The accident occurred in 2002, whilst I was on my way from school with my colleagues and my right leg was cut-off at the spot.

“The accused person did not even shown remorse by helping me since the day in question.

“He only ferried me to the hospital.

“I am hurt because I am living under a hard condition that was caused by someone, who did not even render any assistance towards my situation.

“I am the one who phoned him this month, informing that I am Chipo the one he hit in 2002, but suddenly he blocked my cellphone number,” she said.

Chipo attained her academic studies at Daniko School where she has won different awards in rowing games.

She has also turned into vending in Kuwadzana.

She hailed the police officer who assisted her to pursue her case against Elton after 19 years.

A source said Chipo approached Southerton Police seeking advice over her case.

“There, a police who ‘resurrected’ the matter after Chipo pursued it.

“No one knew that justice would be served one day because this matter was swept under the carpet.

“Chipo has been some follow ups on the matter since 2019. She made several follow ups until she was assisted,” said the source.

The matter was expected to be phased out in 2022 according to the law following 20 years without locating the accused person.

“Accused person has changed locations to avoid this matter.

“A police officer located him through Registrar General’s information and also with the help of Econet.

“During the time of the offence he supplied his uncle’s cell number which then were used to trace him.

“Through the efforts he was apprehended whilst at his new house, in Ruwa,” added another source.

Elton said he still remember that he was driving a truck when he committed the offence.

“I recall this case it happened in 2002 when I was driving a UD Nissan truck along First Street in Kuwadzana.

“It is so painful to meet the girl that I hit at the age of three, surely by now without the grace of God, she would have died on the spot, since the situation was bad.

“I was not licensed by that time until I acquired a license in 2017,” he said.

“When I was driving my truck there was a bus which was heading towards me from town.

“As soon it immediately passed I noticed three children in uniform attempting to cross the road, and unfortunately I hit this girl before she fully crossed.

“The case was reported at Kuwadzana police station before being referred to Southerton Traffic section.

“The child was ferried to the hospital for emergency,” he added.

He was not expecting police officers to hunt him over the matter.

“I did not expect to see police officers at my doorsteps, as I thought of maybe the cased is over because it has been 20 years since this happened.

“The police officer who was investigating my case just told me to go back home and promised to call me for further developments but from there I was not called.

“I developed mild stroke in 2018 and not yet recovered.

“During that time surely I was an able man and also the owner of those trucks had more finances but as you see here, I have no hope of rendering any assistance towards her life, since I have also the same condition that needs special care.

“Instead I will just wait for the court’s decision.” H Metro

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