Matabeleland North — MORE than 50 villagers from Hwange’s Lukosi area, were on Wednesday arrested and charged with theft after they looted groceries from a truck at an accident scene.
According to police documents seen by this publication, villagers from Lukosi village under Chief Nekatambe’s area looted the truck after midnight on Wednesday last week.
Police called for reinforcements, after two officers who had been deployed to attend to the accident failed to drive away or stop the hungry residents who were forcibly taking bags of maize meal, rice, salt, biscuits and snacks.
Police raided all nearby homesteads and recovered more than a thousand 10kg bags of maize meal, close to 300x 5kgs bags of maize meal, close to 100x 5kgs packets of rice, more than 50 packets of salts each totaling 10kgs, biscuits and snacks.
Police were on Thursday still interrogating the suspects, who spent the night in cells Wednesday and were expected to appear in court Friday.
Their details had not been availed as investigations were still underway before finalisation of dockets, a police source said.
The truck was coming from Harare heading towards Victoria Falls with the consignment. The driver Emmanuel Kutinyu reportedly fractured a leg and was rushed to Hwange Colliery Hospital where he was admitted, according to the police.
“A road accident occurred on May 8 at around 2am, when the driver of a truck loaded with bags of maize-meal, rice, snacks, salt and biscuits lost control upon reaching the 320km peg and veered off the road. The truck then fell and landed on its side,” read part of the report made to the police.
“A report was made to the police and two traffic officers were deployed to attend. When they arrived, some villagers were already at the scene carrying some groceries to their homes.
“They failed to stop the hungry villagers as the crowd grew bigger resulting in the whole load being looted.”