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Mystery of the abandoned trailer

by Staff reporter
19 Nov 2022 at 06:29hrs | Views
FOR more than a decade, a haulage truck trailer has been lying on the side of Victoria Falls Road in Dopota, Hwange, abandoned, forgotten, neglected and untouched by thieves, leading to more questions about the trailer and its owner.

Some people believe it was guarded by a supernatural being that would assault anyone who dared touch it or try to strip it. It was now a permanent feature on the side of the road because of such stories.

Some say there was nothing supernatural about the trailer, it was untouched because the Nambya and Tonga people who reside nearby respect other people's properties.

However, one morning a few weeks ago, villagers woke up and were shocked to discover that the trailer had disappeared. While that may feel like the end of the story, questions remain. If the trailer was not protected by a supernatural being, why was it not stripped for over ten years? Why didn't the owner haul it away the very year it broke down?

The site where a mysterious trailer used to be

Villagers said the trailer was left in 2010 after it broke its chassis and its driver, who was ferrying coal from Hwange to Bulawayo, abandoned it.

Later on, another truck came and loaded the coal and the trailer was left on the scene and the unnamed owner never bothered to tow it.

The person believed to be the owner reportedly engaged a couple, Ngikhumbula Tshuma, who is now late, and his wife Benita Mguni, whose homestead is a few metres from the scene, to keep an eye on the trailer.

They were, however, told not to bother guarding it at night as "whoever dared touch it would regret it."

Mguni told Saturday Chronicle that she kept some parts like side panels which she took home because they were falling off after being tampered with by suspected thieves.

She said people who took the trailer may have used cutting torches to cut the chassis and loaded the pieces away.

Saturday Chronicle observed recently that nothing remains at the place where the trailer was once parked.

"My husband used to guard the trailer and when he died, I remained taking care of it. The owner used to pass by whenever he travelled from Namibia to Harare but since the outbreak of coronavirus, I have never seen him.

"He would park his car and talk to me and tell me not to worry about guarding at night. I always told him how I was troubled by people during the day who wanted to steal some parts and some would even tell me that the trailer is not mine and I should not stop them. He would tell me that even if I hear movements at night, I shouldn't worry about going there," said Mguni.

Mguni said she had lost the owner's contacts and did not know how to inform him that it had been stolen.

She said two men (names supplied) approached her and told her that the law allowed them to take it away. She suspects that they wanted the trailer's scrap metal.

"I think the owner had done something because he insisted that in as much as we were guarding it, we should not go there when we heard movements at night. Now we are confused that if it was true that there was something, how people now managed to steal it. Probably whatever he put there had expired since it's been a long time since he last came by," said Mguni.

She confirmed claims of mysterious slaps.

"Just touching it was not a problem. Locals would attempt to touch it but we would hear the stories from truck drivers and some motorists and we suspect those who knew about this issue would have tried to steal or witnessed someone trying to steal," she said.

The woman said the truck owner sometimes paid her US$10 when he passed by and promised to reward her handsomely. Now she is not sure that she will get paid.

Her neighbour, Trynes Ngwenya, who is the Dopota village head, confirmed that the trailer was known to be haunted but said there was no report of any local villager who fell victim to it.

"We live here and pass by the truck every time but none of us has ever been slapped or seen anything. We always heard the stories and we all believed that the motorists and passersby were the ones affected trying to steal," she said.

Another villager, Maphendu Ndlovu played down the mysterious stories.
"That wasn't true. We would hear about it but we always passed by the truck and saw nothing. I think the disappearance of the trailer is confirmation that this was just a story created to scare away thieves," he said.

Chief Nelukoba said traditionally a person can use invisible creatures to guard his property.
He said everyone believed the story was true because the trailer stayed for many years untouched.

"Yes, people used to say so and we also wondered why it stayed all these years without being stripped since people are fond of doing so. No one knew the owner but at the same time, we suspect that those who circulated that story knew it because they tampered with the trailer.

"This is not unusual though for someone who grew up in rural areas. People can use lightning to attack enemies," he said.

Source - The Chronicle