Lingani Nyika, columnist
BUSINESS pulled into Victoria Falls when a funeral procession of dozens of taxi drivers literally blocked the roads as they mourned their colleague who died in a car crash on Friday.
Commuters were stranded on Monday when all taxis were pulled off the road as drivers attended Emmanuel Thunywa’s funeral.
Thunywa, a popular taxi driver in the resort town, died on the spot on his 30th birthday when he lost control of his overturned vehicle in Chidobe.
He had just married Ms. Tapiwa Hikwa.
Her two cousins, Prince Mlilo and Ivonn Dube, survived with injuries.
It was a moving start as friends, relatives and taxi drivers mourned Thunywa.
The funeral service took place at a local parlor where hundreds of people turned up, in defiance of Covid-19 regulations limiting funeral gatherings to 30 people.
Some followed the proceedings from outside the funeral home chapel while respecting social distancing.
From the lounge, taxis lined up as they pulled out onto the main road, heading to Moringa to Mkhosana before returning to Chinotimba, passing Victoria Falls Hospital, Chinotimba Rank, and Emaplankeni, the places from which Thunywa was operating.
People stood by the sides of the road and outside the houses to witness the emotional procession accompanied by the hooting of cars.
For a few minutes, even the Hwange-Victoria Falls highway was blocked at the Mkhosana exit to allow easy passage of the procession.
Taxi drivers said Thunywa’s death was a shock.
The president of the Victoria Falls Taxis Association, Mr. Admire Dube, said it was a big blow to the industry.
“We are saddened to lose a brother, especially dying on his birthday. We are here to show him our support and our love. He was a great man and it is a loss for us. As an association, we decided that his wife would receive free transportation whenever she moved around Victoria Falls, as a sign of love and respect for the man we worked with ”, said he declared.
A resident of Mfelandawonye, Mr. Praymore Ncube said: “We are touched by what has happened. There was no transport in the morning but we understand because the taxi drivers were crying for their colleague.
Ms Margaret Mutongola said she waited 45 minutes at the bus stop before being told there were no taxis. She said she had to walk downtown. – @NyikaLingani