Route dispute turns bloody: Kombi conductor jailed for attempted murder

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The tension and competition within Zimbabwe’s public transportation industry took a dark turn in Rusape, as a dispute over route control escalated into a brutal assault. Shingirai Kamutambadziko, a 30-year-old from Vherende village in Chief Makumbe area, Buhera, has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for the attempted murder of a fellow kombi (public transport minibus) crew member.

The incident occurred on October 24th, 2023, around 9 PM at the Deverwi Business Centre in Rusape. Chrispen Kangoma, a 31-year-old kombi conductor, was offloading goods from a kombi alongside three other men when Kamutambadziko approached the group. Allegedly, Kamutambadziko accused Kangoma of monopolizing the Deverwi-Rusape route, sparking a heated verbal altercation.

As Kangoma was in the process of unloading a passenger’s sack, the situation took a violent turn. Kamutambadziko punched him in the mouth, knocking him to the ground, before slashing his neck and lower lip with a knife. Kamutambadziko then fled the scene, but was later apprehended by the police.

Kangoma sustained a deep stab wound on his neck, a cut on his mouth, and a loose tooth as a result of the attack. The National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe has condemned the incident, emphasizing the need for public transport operators to resolve disputes through peaceful and lawful means.

This case underscores the ongoing challenges faced by the public transportation industry in Zimbabwe, where competition for routes and passengers can escalate into acts of violence. The sentencing of Kamutambadziko sends a clear message that such behaviour will not be tolerated and highlights the urgent need for improved regulation and conflict resolution mechanisms within the sector.


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