Zimbabwe man steals bus for transport to pick up driving licence

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stead Mashushire, a 28-year-old Zimbabwean, has admitted today to stealing a Takaz commuter bus in Harare, Zimbabwe on August 7. He told the court he stole it because he needed transport to the Vehicle Inspection Department to collect his driving licence.

The man waited at the Charge Office Bus Terminus in central Harare until the driver exited the bus, destined for the nearby town of Chitungwiza, and proceeded to a nearby supermarket to buy food, leaving the engine running. Mashushire then entered the vehicle and told all the passengers and the conductor inside to exit it; when they did this, he drove away in the vehicle. He informed those on board that the police had impounded the bus, which fitted with events in the area at the time, when police were impounding numerous buses after ordering fares to be drastically cut.

The bus driver then returned to his bus, in time to see it being driven away without the passengers. He then attempted to chase the bus, and managed to receive help from a passing motorist, who pursued the stolen vehicle, leading to Mashushire being caught 7km from the scene of the theft.

Mashushire today told the court "I admit that I stole the bus but the engine was running. I did not use my own keys to start the bus,".

The court convicted Mashushire of theft of a motor vehicle based on his own guilty plea, and ordered him to undergo a psychiatric test due to questions about his sanity, per the Mental Health Act. He has been remanded in custody until August 29, when he will be sentenced.