The
Zimbabwe
Letters

     
  Attacks on the airport road  
     
 
On Christmas night, Hillery and her fiancée David were driving back from the airport, having collected her aunt and uncle from America. It was about 9 PM. When they got to the intersection of Glenara and Chiremba Road, their tire was slashed. They felt the car move but assumed that it had been a failed smash and grab. As they got to Glenara and Hillside road , their tire went flat - very near Rhodesville Police station. Thinking that their tire may have been slashed, they pulled off the road and phoned Hillery's sister to come collect them. They didn't get out or open the doors, as is good safety practise. Two men pulled up in a car that was either a silver Nissan Sunny or Mazda 626 - that shape. One of them went to the passenger side window, where Hillery was sitting. Her window was closed and she refused help from them - as is also good safety practise. He turned as if to go, walked away a couple of steps then turned around and put a screwdriver straight through the window. Hillery put her legs up to protect her torso and was stabbed three times in the leg. At the same time, the other man went to David in the driver's seat and smashed a club through the windscreen. David pulled Hillery into the middle of the car and they both started kicking out at their attackers. They started hitting David with the club and he ended up with a deep cut to the bone on his shin, his knee cap broken in four places, one hand dislocated, broken fingers and various other cuts and bruises. Hillery started frantically hooting, hoping someone would hear and stop or get the police. Nothing happened. Eventually David just drove off, flat tire, broken knee and all. The attackers immediately got in their car and started following them. They were chased all the way to Samora Machel Avenue. David continued driving to a friends house along the Enterprise road (10 kms from the attack site) and from there they were taken to the emergency department of the Avenues Clinic - who told them that they had no doctors available and so could not be of any help. So off they went to the trauma centre where they were attended to immediately. David was in surgery on his knee the next day and Hillery was released. The worst thing about all of this was it was a week before their wedding. Luckily, David was allowed out of hospital and the wedding went ahead - his doctor was there the whole time though.

I wanted you all to know this story because it is not the only one. Everyone knows someone who has been attacked like this, some less brutal and some more so. Please, spread this message to all of your friends and family in Zimbabwe - make them aware. My advice - if you can possibly avoid it, DO NOT DRIVE TO THE AIRPORT AT NIGHT. But that's an impossible request - therefore - keep all valuables in the boot ONLY. Keep your window open 2 inches at all times - this way they cannot get their hands in and it's very difficult to smash the window. If you are driving at night, or on a lonely road and you get a flat, JUST KEEP DRIVING. Having to get your rim repaired is better than ending up in hospital or worse.