Zimbabwe: Kombis Burnt to Shells in Fierce Police Clashes With Illegal Bulawayo Operators

Teargas canister (file photo).

Police in Bulawayo Wednesday threw tear smoke cannisters which are believed to have illuminated and burnt to shells, two private commuter transport omnibuses which were operating illegally within the CBD.

Eyewitnesses said the two separate but related incidents happened as police continued to enforce an unpopular government ban on private commuter transport that is not affiliated to public transporter, Zupco.

"What happened is that a police Ford Focus and an unregistered black Honda Fit came with five police officers who all of a sudden started firing tear gas inside the two vehicles which were pirating along Lobengula Street and 4th Avenue," a witness later told NewZimbabwe.com.

The source said the White Toyota Hiace instantly caught fire.

Another kombi is also said to have been burnt at Naik long distance bus terminus under similar circumstances.

A police Ford Fiesta was also damaged while several police officers are said to have been injured in the skirmishes.

"After the incident, touts and angry members of the public ganged up and attacked the police officers who were responsible for the destruction of the two kombis.

"I saw at least two police officers running for dear life while a mob was in hot pursuit," said another witness.

Bulawayo police provincial spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube had not responded to questions forwarded to him relating to the ugly clashes.

It is however not the first time that police operatives and touts have been involved in fierce clashes in the city in a few months.

Early this year, a police vehicle was also damaged under similar circumstances.

More From: New Zimbabwe

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