Family spends winter in the open as justice delayed

Prawny Kapasure of Epworth and her family are leaving in the open after a commuter omnibus driver ploughed into their house seriously injuring family members two months ago.

Despite Hatfield police having attended the accident and opened a docket TAB 377-14 the case handled by IC Crime Mukoka, is yet to be brought before the courts. Police blame the delays on the Vehicle Inspection Department ‘taking too long to provide a report regarding the condition of the kombi’.

“Police delays in dealing with the matter exposed my family to the chilly winter. We expected the kombi operator to compensate for the destroyed property and medical expenses incurred,” said Kapasure, adding that she was not in a position to rebuild the house due to economic constraints.

The owner of the kombi, Pepukai Hamandishe of Kuwadzana Extension, has since switched off his mobile number to make himself inaccessible.

The kombi, registration number ACQ 7205, travelling at high speed failed to stop at a T-Junction and crashed into a tuck shop before ploughing into the house, where five family members were sleeping.

The accident left Aleen Ndava, 5, with a fractured right leg, Masleen Chikomba, 6, with a broken collar bone while Docus Makeneti sustained a broken rib. Property worth $17,000, including part of the house, was reduced to rubble.

The family said medical expenses which covered the removal of part of Makeneti’s rib cost over $2,500. “We lived on buying and selling roofing material such as asbestos and a pile of the same was run over and destroyed by the kombi,” said Kapasure.

Destroyed furniture was turned into firewood to survive the cold winter while some items were stolen by thieves.

Inspector Karonga, officer in-charge traffic at Hatfield Police, said such cases could take up to two months to investigate and gather relevant material needed by the courts. “We are now ready to take the case to court, as soon as the complainants furnish us with their medical reports and other affidavits,” he said.

But members of the public have accused the police of demanding bribes from accused persons to stall investigations and destroy evidence. A 2012 report by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa rated the Zimbabwe Traffic Police the most corrupt in the region.

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