Impala Car Rentals chief executive officer Thompson Dondo has spoken out on the students demonstration which took place on Friday at his premises.
Students, led by Zinasu president Takudzwa Ngadziore, demonstrated about 101 metres away from Impala premises where they were attacked and later apprehended by police.
Students are demanding justice for the abducted and tortured Tawanda Muchehiwa. The 22-year-old University student who is seeking reparation was abducted on the eve of the July 31 protests in Bulawayo by alleged state agents who were using a vehicle they had hired from the Harare-based car rental company.
The image and reputation of Impala Car Rentals consequently took a battering in the aftermath of the abduction with social media users alleging that Impala Car Rentals was complicit in the seizure of the nephew of ZimLive editor, Mduduzi Mathuthu.
However, when Zim Morning Post reached Dondo for a comment on the latest skirmishes, the Impala boss said his company is suffering collateral damage yet he has co-operated with the authorities who are investigating the case.
“I am away in Addis Ababa. I have been here on private business for the last 10 days. I am seeing and reading the stories online,” Dondo told Zim Morning Post.
“All I can tell you is that after we saw that video circulating, we notified Braeside Police on the 30th of August. Detectives from the law and order then came to our premises a few days later and asked for the rental agreement for that hire. They then seized the contracts pertaining to that hire.”
“In as much as students are seeking justice we have done all we can to make sure the authorities get what they want in order to investigate the case.
“We have nothing to hide,” Dondo said.
Muchehiwa was tortured over three days before being released barely able to walk.
Muchehiwa’s lawyer Nqobani Sithole, recently obtained an order granted by Justice Evangelista Kabasa on September 3 directing the Sheriff to recover from Impala Car Rental all documentation and information relating to the hire of a Ford Ranger motor vehicle registration numbers AES 2483 over the period between July 26, 2020, and August 6, 2020.
This came after a video compiled by ZimLive, from a CCTV overhanging the scene of the crime, implicated one of Impala Car Rentals’ vehicles (Registration No. AES 2433).
Impala’s general manager Viola Chirata is said to have told the Sheriff that they do not have any documentation relating to the hiring of Ford Ranger AES 2433 as all the documents have been surrendered to Braeside Police station.