Patrick Chitumba/Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Midlands Bureau Chief
TWO people, one of them a popular Shurugwi gold miner who made headlines in March after he hired thugs to torture his employee, died in a road accident along the Gweru-Mvuma Road.

Willard Mugadza popularly known as Dread Welly and Foster Machaya died on Tuesday after a Toyota Hilux double cab they were travelling in veered off the road and rolled several times just after the Gweru-Mvuma tollgate.

Mugadza made headlines in March when he hired thugs who tied his 24-year-old employee, Mr Fabian Mabhungu to a tree and severely tortured him for allegedly stealing 70g of gold worth US$3 400 at his Bred Farm mine.

Mr Mabhungu later died while admitted to Gweru General Hospital.

The vehicle had three people and Machaya was the driver.

The other passenger suffered injuries and is admitted to a hospital in Gweru.

Midlands provincial police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko said the accident occurred at the 43km peg along Gweru-Mvuma road around 11PM on Tuesday.

“I can confirm the death of two people including the driver who died on the 43 km peg along Gweru-Mvuma road.

“Machaya allegedly lost control of the vehicle which veered off the road and overturned before landing on its roof. Mugadza and Machaya died on the spot. The second passenger escaped with some injuries and was admitted to a hospital in Gweru,” said Inspector Goko.

Meanwhile, our Gwanda correspondent reports that a haulage truck driver died after the vehicle’s horse collapsed on him while attempting to attend to a mechanical fault.

Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the incident which occurred on Monday in Bubi along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Road.

He said Mr Leroy Nyakabawo (34) from Warren Park in Harare was driving a haulage truck when it developed a mechanical fault and he tilted the truck’s horse to check the problem and it collapsed, crushing him.

“I can confirm that we recorded a sudden death case which occurred at the 212 kilometre peg along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Road in Bubi area. Leroy Nyakabawo was driving a haulage truck belonging to a South African based company when the vehicle developed a fault,” he said.

Chief Insp Ndebele said Mr Nyakabawo pulled off the road and tilted the truck horse to attend to the fault. He said the horse then collapsed and crushed Mr Nyakabawo and he died on the spot.

The matter was reported to the police who attended the scene. Mr Nyakabawo’s body was ferried to Beitbridge District Hospital mortuary.

In another incident, a Beitbridge man died after he was trampled by elephants while walking in a forest with six others.

Chief Insp Ndebele said Mr Erick Mutemachane (30) was attacked by the elephants on Wednesday last week and his body was recovered four days later.

“I can confirm that we recorded a sudden death incident where a man was trampled to death by elephants. Erick Mutemachane was walking with six others through Nottingham Forest in Beitbridge along Limpopo River when they came across a herd of elephants,” he said.

Chief Insp Ndebele said they all fled in different directions and the six others later converged at a distance but Mutemachane was not with them and they assumed that he had taken another direction while fleeing.

He said his mates reported the matter to the police four days later as Mutemachane was still missing. “Mutemachane’s body was recovered on Sunday in the forest with injuries which indicated that he had been trampled by elephants,” said Chief Insp Ndebele. — @DubeMatutu