Vendor struck by kombi while fleeing council police
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A vendor identified as Mr Norest Ndlovu (19), from Makokoba suburb, is lucky to be alive after he was struck by a speeding kombi that was driving along 6th Avenue as he tried to cross the street.
Police spokesperson for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo confirmed receiving a report about the incident, which occurred on Wednesday at about 12 noon.
The municipal police crew reportedly immediately jumped into their patrol car and sped off, leaving the vendor lying on the ground, much to the chagrin of other vendors who were now reportedly charging towards the council vehicle.
The kombi also reportedly drove off leaving the victim unattended.
Witnesses said business temporarily halted as vendors tried to come to terms with what had happened and were only relieved when Mr Ndlovu was reported to be fine on admission at hospital.
The incident reportedly occurred on Wednesday at about 12 noon as municipal police, popularly referred to as omakokoba by vendors, pounced on hundreds of informal traders who sell their wares along Lobengula Street resulting in a near commotion as scores of vendors, including push cart operators, scurried for cover along Lobengula Street towards 6th Avenue.
An official at Mpilo Central Hospital, who could not be named, said Mr Ndlovu's relatives arrived at the hospital with the intention of identifying the body after getting reports that he had died but were relieved when they were told he was alive and was admitted.
The witnesses said a number of vendors were nearly hit by vehicles as they crossed the street at a robot-controlled intersection in front of oncoming traffic oblivious to the danger that would befall them as they fled from the municipal police.
Mr Ndlovu was reportedly rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital in a police truck with a fractured arm.
When this reporter visited the scene, vendors expressed anger at the municipal police.
"It was around 12pm when municipal police arrived and started raiding people. Everyone started running away across the robot-controlled intersection.
"There was commotion as people carrying their wares and some pushing pushcarts fled in one direction across the road in front of traffic," said one vendor who witnessed the incident.
Another vendor only identified as Max said in the middle of the commotion, Mr Ndlovu was hit by a kombi as he tried to cross the road pushing a pushcart.
"He was lucky because the kombi hit the push cart and which then hit him and he fell to the ground and lost consciousness," he said.
Mr Ndlovu' brother, Mr Monga Ndlovu, who is also a vendor along the same street, said they were not happy with what the municipal police did.
"We might be selling illegally as the council says but that does not mean our lives should be put at risk. Norest was rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital in a police car and was accompanied by our cousins, Themba and Makhubalo. He fractured his arm and we hear he is fine," said Mr Ndlovu's brother.
Another vendor said the municipal police were lucky because they wanted to mete out instant justice for what they had done.
"They fled soon after the accident and everyone was angry by then. People could have beaten them up had they not fled," said the vendor.
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