Po­lice hunt down fugi­tive killer driver

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Ray Bande Se­nior Re­porter

PO­LICE have launched a man­hunt for the Smart Ex­press bus driver, Cos­mas Marembo, who fled the scene to­gether with his con­duc­tor fol­low­ing the hor­rific bus ac­ci­dent which killed 46 peo­ple on Wed­nes­day evening.

The ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing Bolt Cut­ter and Smart Ex­press buses oc­curred at around 5.30pm at the 166km peg along the Harare-Mutare High­way.

Man­i­ca­land po­lice spokesper­son In­spec­tor Tavhir­ingwa Kako­hwa con­firmed that

they were keen to in­ter­view Marembo.

“We are still search­ing for the Smart Ex­press bus driver Cos­mas Marembo who fled to­gether with his con­duc­tor soon af­ter sur­viv­ing the hor­rific bus ac­ci­dent on Wed­nes­day.

“We ap­peal to mem­bers of the pub­lic who could be aware of his where­abouts to con­tact the near­est po­lice sta­tion,” said Insp Kako­hwa.

A wit­ness said the Smart Ex­press bus driver wanted to over­take a haulage truck and en­croached onto the lane of an on­com­ing Bolt Cut­ter bus, re­sult­ing in the col­li­sion.

Man­age­ment at Smart Ex­press Bus Com­pany said they were ready to com­pen­sate and help the in­jured pas­sen­gers and fam­i­lies of the de­ceased.

Smart Ex­press man­ager Mr Darr Si­gauke said the com­pany was still wait­ing for the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the de­ceased and those in­jured so they could of­fer com­pen­sa­tion to their fam­i­lies.

He said they were also not aware of their driver’s where­abouts.

“Po­lice are still iden­ti­fy­ing the de­ceased and those in­jured so that we can com­pen­sate them. I am not aware of the where­abouts of our driver yet,” said Mr Si­gauke.

“I went to the hos­pi­tal mor­tu­ary and wards look­ing for him, but could not find him. Some peo­ple told me that he prob­a­bly ran away in a state of shock or panic,” he said.

Mean­while, the pub­lic re­mains con­cerned about the fre­quency of ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing the same bus com­pany.

Mr Paul Si­gauke of Mutare said the need­less loss of hu­man lives in­volv­ing Smart Ex­press Bus Com­pany was wor­ri­some.

“We are wor­ried about the deaths be­ing caused by Smart Ex­press bus ac­ci­dents. Re­mem­ber we wit­nessed an­other ac­ci­dent re­cently in Zimunya in­volv­ing the same com­pany. It was also at the cen­tre of con­tro­versy when one per­son died in Harare at Fourth Street rank. It is not pleas­ing at all and we are ap­peal­ing to the pow­ers that be to se­ri­ously look into the op­er­a­tions of Smart Ex­press,” said Si­gauke.

Touts and bus op­er­a­tors at the Mutare-Harare rank have pro­fessed ig­no­rance of the where­abouts of the Smart Ex­press bus driver, Marembo, who re­port­edly fled the scene af­ter the hor­rific ac­ci­dent that claimed 46 lives near Rusape on Wed­nes­day.

Smart Ex­press bus owner Mr Charles Makosi re­fused to speak to the me­dia, re­fer­ring ques­tions to his man­ager Mr Si­gauke who said he did not know any­thing about Marembo’s where­abouts.

Sub­se­quent calls to his mo­bile num­ber failed to get through.

Ef­forts to get a com­ment from Bolt Cut­ter bus owner, for­mer top cop Oliver Chibage, were fruit­less as his mo­bile num­ber was un­reach­able.

When The Her­ald vis­ited the listed Smart Ex­press busi­ness ad­dress, it turned out to be a res­i­den­tial ad­dress.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of what led to Wed­nes­day evening’s ac­ci­dent which killed 46 peo­ple and left 70 oth­ers in­jured at the 166km peg along the Harare-Mutare High­way

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