Taxi drivers protest killing

HARARE - Taxi drivers took matters into their own hands yesterday, bringing traffic to a standstill in Harare, as they protested the killing of a fellow cabman, allegedly by municipal police officers.

Sick and tired of the heavy handedness of the law enforcement agents, the angry demonstrators took to the wheel, cruising around the capital’s central business district with a coffin containing the remains of Goliath Dick hanging on a taxi — a vehicle he drove before he met his fate in the most cruel of ways on Saturday.

The cars skidded and revved as they blocked roads in the capital.

According to Dick’s family, the deceased was manhandled by municipal police officers, who were allegedly demanding a bribe. Biggie, Dick’s first born in a family of 14, said the family had been robbed of its sole bread winner.

“I still don’t know what to say but I know that he was killed by municipal police officers,” Biggie said. “His blood is on their hands.”

A sombre atmosphere enveloped the area  surrounding a local funeral parlour where a placard-waving crowd bayed for the blood of municipal police officers.

Facing the coffin bedecked with flowers, Pedzisai Bauti, Dick’s pregnant widow sobbed, struggling to come to terms with her husband’s untimely death. She is the deceased’s second wife and has five children.

At the funeral parlour, a heart wrenching funeral dirge sounded from a piano, leaving many with tears in their eyes.

According to the family, a post mortem showed that Dick died from strangulation.

“How does one kill someone for just $20?” asked taxi driver Chris Kadziche.

“They wanted a bribe and he didn’t have anything to give them, so they killed him.”

The protest was spontaneous, engulfing Harare’s central business district with hundreds of taxis joining in to express their anger at the traffic authorities.

Traffic regulations were ignored as hooting taxis drove through red lights in a final salute to their comrade.

They besieged Harare city traffic offices and burst into song — daring their tormentors to descend on them “in their usual fashion.”

Caught off guard or rather overwhelmed by the agitated cabmen, the usually belligerent municipal police
officers retreated back into their offices.

Attracted by the rare display of solidarity, thousands of people joined the angry mob, causing a tense moment at Harare’s Town House, where city fathers ran into the safety of their offices.

Having been robbed by ineluctable fate in the most heart-wrenching of ways, the marauding mob said they had nothing to lose.

“I called him father,” said another cab man.

“Now he is gone, who is going to look after his family? These murderers should be stopped. I remembered whenever I asked him where he was or he had gone he always said ‘copy, I am in Hatfield.’ I hope when he died on Saturday he said ‘copy I am going to heaven’.”

Affectionately known as ‘Mdhara Soko’ (Big Soko), Dick was a little-known cabman outside his circles, but motorists and pedestrians in Harare got a glimpse of his brown coffin as it combed the city he had called home and workplace for so many years.

Dick will be buried in Banket today.

Comments (4)

Mdhara 's death wash unfortunate but why u taxi drivers take National Roads as if u own them?

kalila - 30 January 2014

Deep sympathies macomrades pakurarama. May his dear soul rest in peace, pliz arise with yout voices and love that you get the compensation that be. these thugs should stop it.

musaigwa - 30 January 2014

Nguva yanga yakwana. Hazvinei wafa sei. Who can question the will of God? Who can say "No Lord this is the hard way.." Garai makagadzirira. It can be you or me leaving today.

Christian - 31 January 2014

Nguva yanga isina kumbokwana. He was murdered. Why do many people think when one dies, which ever way, it's God's doing. God is no murderer. Accidents and evil will some times cut short a life. God only lets events take their course.

The Watcher - 31 January 2014

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