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Kuwadzana Accident Victim Locates ‘Fugitive’ Negligent Driver 19 Years Later

An unlicensed truck driver who allegedly ran over a seven-year-old girl in 2002 has been arrested, 19 years later.

Elton Chinomwaza (44), of Ruwa, committed the crime in 2002 and his case was not finalised before he left for Botswana.

Chinomwaza returned to Zimbabwe in 2016 and was arrested on Tuesday last week for negligent driving.

He hit Chipo Zhento now 26, who was in Grade Three resulting in her leg being amputated.

The case was reported under CR 23/2002 and the then investigating officer died in 2013 while the case was still pending.

Chinomwaza was expected to appear in court on Thursday for trial at Mbare Magistrates’ Court.

Speaking to H-Metro, Chipo said she was hit by the car along First Street Road in Kuwadzana and her leg was cut off on the spot. She said:

The accident occurred in 2002, whilst I was on my way from school with my colleagues and my right leg was cut off at the spot.

The accused person did not even show remorse by helping me since the day in question.

… I am the one who phoned him this month, informing him that I am Chipo the one he hit in 2002, but suddenly he blocked my cellphone number.

H-Metro reported a source as saying Chipo approached Southerton Police seeking advice over her case. Said the source:

There, the police ‘resurrected’ the matter after Chipo pursued it.

No one knew that justice would be served one day because this matter was swept under the carpet.

Chipo has been making some follow-ups on the matter since 2019. She made several follow-ups until she was assisted.

The case was set to be phased out in 2022 according to the law following 20 years without locating the accused person.

Another source narrated how a police officer located the accused using information from the Registrar General’s office and with help of Econet. Said the source:

A police officer located him through Registrar General’s information and also with the help of Econet.

During the time of the offence, he supplied his uncle’s cell number which then was used to trace him.

Through the efforts, he was apprehended whilst at his new house, in Ruwa.

Also speaking to H-Metro, Chinomwaza said when the accident happened in 2002, he had not yet acquired a driver’s licence. He said:

I recall this case it happened in 2002 when I was driving a UD Nissan truck along First Street in Kuwadzana.

It is so painful to meet the girl that I hit at the age of three, surely by now without the grace of God, she would have died on the spot since the situation was bad.

I was not licensed by that time until I acquired a license in 2017.

Chinomwaza revealed that he thought the case was over and did not think police officers were still looking for him. He said:

I did not expect to see police officers at my doorsteps, as I thought maybe the case is over because it has been 20 years since this happened.

The police officer who was investigating my case just told me to go back home and promised to call me for further developments but from there I was not called.

Chinomwaza said he suffered a mild stroke in 2018 and has not yet fully recovered.

He said he has hit hard times and is not in a position to render any form of assistance to his victim. He added:

… I will just wait for the court’s decision.

More: H-Metro

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