THERE was pandemonium on Saturday at Zvishavane Central Police Station after a 38-year- old mshika-shika (pirate taxi) driver committed suicide by consuming poison in protest after his vehicle was impounded by the police.
Tapiwa Manyimo of Maglas suburb in the asbestos mining town was pronounced dead on arrival at Zvishavane District Hospital where he had been rushed for medical attention.
A suicide note was found in one of his pockets which indicated that he was having sleepless nights at home as his wife was tormenting him over the impounded vehicle.
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident and said police investigations were underway.
“I can confirm that there is a sudden death matter involving a Zvishavane man who committed suicide and left behind a suicide note,” he said.
Sources close to the matter said the incident occurred on Saturday when Manyimo visited the central police station to negotiate for the release of his vehicle which had been impounded by the police.
“Police in Zvishavane recently launched a blitz on pirate taxis and Tapiwa Manyimo was one of the victims of the blitz as his fun cargo was impounded,” said Promise Mariba, a witness to the incident.
He said Manyimo penned a suicide note in which he was accusing his wife of pressuring him to recover the impounded vehicle because he was no longer able to look after his family.
Mariba said the vehicle was their only source of income.
“He then walked to the police station and pleaded with the police officers to have his pirate taxi released but the police would not budge. The police were insisting that all impounded vehicles will be taken to the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) for inspection first before they are released to their owners,” he said.
Mariba said Manyimo took some pesticide from his pocket and consumed it at the police station before collapsing.
“He was rushed to Zvishavane District Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival. His pockets were searched leading to the discovery of the suicide note,” he said.
The police have been impounding pirate taxis and other vehicles caught violating the Covid-19 regulations countrywide.