A high speed chase involving police officers and two ‘pirate’ commuter omnibuses ended in tragedy,Wednesday, when the two kombis burnt to shells after the traffic officers reportedly threw teargas canisters into the vehicles which caught fire
According to eyewitnesses, the police officers who were travelling in a Ford Fiesta were pursuing the two kombis in the city centre, when one of the kombis rammed into a stationary vehicle along Herbert Chitepo street and Fifth avenue.
After the accident, the police reportedly fired a tear gas canister into the vehicle forcing the driver and conductor to abandon the vehicle before fleeing on foot.
They then pursued the other vehicle and caught up along Fourth avenue where they also fired another tear gas canister inside the vehicle.
Both vehicles caught fire and were burnt to shells.
When a CITE news crew arrived on the scene, Bulawayo City Council (BCC) firefighters were extinguishing the flames.
Contacted for a comment, Bulawayo acting chief fire officer Linos Phiri said he was still waiting for a report.
“I am still waiting for the guys who attended the incident to come back but this is a police operation,” said Phiri.
Bulawayo Police Spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said he was also waiting for the report.
The government banned privately-owned commuter omnibuses last year after the country declared a nationwide lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.
However, some of the operators have returned to the roads in defiance of the ban resulting in police impounding their vehicles.