A 64-year-old man from Silungidzi village in Matopo district who was knocked down by Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s driver while cycling in 2018 is pleading with the top judge to compensate him for his damaged bicycle and medical expenses he incurred.
Herosi Moyo was cycling from a shopping centre in Tshapo village and was about to reach his homestead, when he was hit by the speeding car in December 2018.
Moyo’s mangled bicycle was taken by the chief justice’s driver for repairs.
But almost three years later, Moyo has not received compensation for his damaged bicycle.
In an interview with CITE at his homestead on Tuesday, Moyo pleaded with Chief Justice Malaba to return his bicycle as he had bought it using his pension funds.
“Even if the bicycle is damaged or broken, I can fix it myself. I need my bicycle back.”
Moyo, now a pensioner, survives on subsistence farming but his head injuries and sore back have affected his ability to fend for his family.
His family fears the accident may have triggered some sort of mental illness, as they suspect he may be suffering from dementia.
His wife, Margaret Nyathi, said other villagers have actually advised them to undergo another medical examination to ascertain the extent of his injuries.
“After Moyo was hit by the car, Malaba had him taken to the hospital. Initially, he was taken to Nathisa Clinic but was referred to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo where he spent two weeks on admission. A CT (Computerised Tomography) scan was conducted as he was bleeding from the ears and from a wound in his head,” she said.
Nyathi said the family had to pay off the hospital bills.
“My husband did not want to spend more time in hospital so we had to raise the money that was required. I think the bill was over $840. Eventually, when that money was paid off, Malaba was supposed to compensate us but that has not been done,” Moyo’s wife said.
She added they had heard that Moyo’s bicycle was left at Kezi Police Station but questioned why the Chief Justice or his aides failed to drop it off at their homestead.
“They know this place because immediately after the accident, we drove here with Malaba’s wife so I could collect some fresh clothes and they pass through our homestead all the time. They could have dropped the bicycle here,” Nyathi said.
Thembi Ncube, Moyo’s sister in law, who lives next to their homestead, said she had just dropped off from Nathisa clinic when she came across the accident.
“When I came closer to the scene of the accident I learnt that the victim was my brother in law, I then ran to inform other villagers and the family about what had happened. This is when the bicycle was put in one of the cars and since then it never came back.”
The family also claimed after the accident, police officers did not attend the scene, except for a rural police constabulary.
“We did not give any statements to the police yet we understand that it is part of the procedure as they are supposed to come and attend to the scene. We would have expected that Malaba as a senior public official would have come back to the family to apologise after the incident, as accidents do happen but he has not done so,” said Kemesi Bhebhe, who is Moyo’s young brother.
Contacted for a comment, Judicial Service Commission (JSC) secretary Walter Chikwana, said it was wrong to blame the accident on the Chief Justice as he was “a passenger in the car involved in the accident.”
“The man driving was not the Chief Justice’s driver, if it was his driver, he would be in Harare but this driver stays in Bulawayo. This driver stayed and attended to the accident scene while the chief justice had to be taken by another driver to Harare,” he said.
Chikwana added the driver from that accident had expressed surprise over the outstanding issues.
“The driver said he made a police report and spoke to the man’s relatives but is willing to help and to travel to Kezi police station to assist Moyo collect the bicycle,” said Chikwana.
CITE reached out to the driver Lovemore Mangena who is stationed at the Bulawayo High Court and he confirmed that he was driving the Chief Justice who was in the company of his wife and maid and they were travelling to Bulawayo from their plot.
“No one in the car was hurt except for Mrs Malaba who suffered from shock. I was driving from Kezi and the accident happened two kilometres after a cultural centre and a kilometre before the turn to Moyo’s homestead,” he said.
“Moyo was ahead of me and he was cycling while carrying a calabash, I hooted at him as I approached but he then cycled onto the road and the car hit him denting the mirror. I stopped afterwards and took him to Nathisa Clinic and left the chief justice there as I called for another driver to come to fetch him. I took Moyo to Nathisa Clinic.”
Mangena said he took Moyo’s bicycle and other belongings to Kezi police station.
“I left the bicycle at Kezi police station, as I went to make my statement because I had already made a report to a police officer who was at Nathisa Clinic. As the ambulance took Moyo to Mpilo Central, I followed with his relatives,” he said.
He added that once in Bulawayo, he assisted Moyo conduct X-rays and paid part of the bills at Mpilo Hospital.
“If there were other expenses, they were not communicated. As for the bicycle, Moyo was told to come to fetch it at the police station so he could also make his statement.”
Mangena said he would, however, visit Moyo and will assist him in collecting his bicycle.