Guest Post by Luke
I got a Zupco to the Harare Show Grounds to catch lifts to Gweru as I was returning to Midlands State University and then guess what… when I dropped off by the bus stop there were thieves.
They crowded me, asking me to hand over my gadgets. I asked them what gadgets? They said they wanted my phone, laptop and money. They demanded for these as they tried to grab my bags. As a varsity student, these things are life and I held on for dear life as I struggled to wrench free.
Thankfully, a guardian angel came to my rescue me and the guys retreated. My rescuer then ushered me into a nearby bus. He was telling me how it was unsafe to hitchhike and to use reliable transportation such as the bus he had guided me into. When I was aboard the bus, I saw the guys who had tried to rob me outside and I took pictures.
Later as I chatted with some of my fellow passengers I found out several of them had gone through an experience similar to mine, including having their rescuer directing them to seek refuge inside the very same bus. Connecting the dots, points to a situation where if the Bus Company was not in cohorts with the thieves outside or using it as a tactic to lure passengers into bus, then they had some sort of understanding.
Meanwhile, the bus which seemed like it was about to go and only needed a few more people so it could depart was not going anywhere. You realised a lot of the fellow passengers weren’t passengers at all but just seat-fillers occupying seats and then getting off as passengers got on. They make you pay for your ticket as soon as you board so now you cant leave or risk forfeiting your busfare or worse another episode with the unsavoury characters outside.
The conductor was very rude and uncouth but because you were reminded that they had saved you from people who were going to steal from you, you ended up remaining silent. From inside the bus we observed a couple of people who had not gotten into the bus and it looked like they lost their belongings. But what could we do?
I called my uncle who said we should report these guys as they are dangerous but there was no police nearby. I am sharing this in the hope that fellow travellers can take care and responsible people look into the matters such as these.
I boarded the bus at 9 in the morning and arrived in Gweru at 19:15 more than half of that time was spent in Harare waiting for the bus to leave.
Travel safe out there.
Luke is an MSU student currently studying Computer Systems Engineering.