Passengers ‘hijack’ drunken bus driver

The Herald, November 7, 1985

PASSENGERS forced a long-distance driver they thought was drunk to stop the bus and took him to the police.

The driver, Solomon Shumba (52) of Glen View in Harare, this week had his bus driving licence cancelled for life and fined $800 (or three months jail with labour) when he was convicted of drunken driving.

He was also banned from driving any vehicle for 12 months. Shumba pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before Mr Billiard Musakwa at a periodical court sitting in Banket this week.

The court heard that on August 4, Shumba was driving a bus along Chinhoyi-Banket road on his way to Harare.

Passengers forced him to stop after crossing the Manyame River as he did not have proper control of the vehicle and was swerving.

The passengers got off the bus and boarded a lorry. They asked Shumba to follow alone in the bus to Banket where they reported the matter to the police.

Blood samples taken showed that he had 185 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood. Shumba said he was not aware that he was drunk. Mr Musakwa commended the passengers for their action. – ZIS.

LESSONS FOR TODAY

  • Owners and crews of public transport have a responsibility to take care of their passengers, who are their biggest clients and the cornerstone of their businesses. This entails ensuring that their vehicles are roadworthy and that passengers enjoy the ride when they are being transported from point A to point B.
  • The age-old adage, “the customer is king” should always prevail. More often than not we hear of reports of passengers being mishandled by public transport crews.
  • Pirate taxis and commuter omnibus crews are particularly notorious for being rude to passengers. They are only nice when they are looking for clients but once passengers board their vehicles and pay their fares all courtesy goes through the window.
  • Passengers on public transport have a right to dictate how they should be driven by speaking collectively. Some accidents, especially those caused by speeding, are due to passengers’ failure to speak up or to be unanimous as was the case with the passengers in the story, who managed to get their drunk bus driver arrested.

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