Mystery surrounds a maroon Peugeot 306 that has been parked in Nyanga National Park for almost a year now. The vehicle has been a permanent roadside feature eight kilometres from Nyanga town since August last year amid swirling claims that it was used to dump troublesome goblins and was laden with thousands of dollars.
Attempts to steal the money, the rumour mill contends, are repelled by lashes from invisible protectors of the “treasure trove”.
Even attempts to take pictures of the vehicle were said to evoke the ire of the goblins. However, a closer inspection of the vehicle by the Weekend Post passed without incidence. No money was also visible from outside.
No attempt to open the doors was made for fear of leaving fingerprints in case it winds-up being classified a crime scene. Local police which maintains a moratorium in giving comments to Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, publishers of The Daily News, Daily News on Sunday and Weekend Post, journalists could not be persuaded to explain why they have not towed the vehicle to a safer place.
Chief Hata in whose area the vehicle is parked said he had heard the “stories” around the vehicle but was himself not sure of the truth around the tales.
“I’ve been seeing the vehicle parked there since last year and have heard stories about it but I can’t say if they are true as we have not made any investigations into it,” Chief Hata said.
The chief, however, queried why the police had not taken the vehicle to Nyanga police camp for safe keeping until the owner of the vehicle is located.
“I think the police should have long towed the vehicle to their camp until they locate the owner of the vehicle,” Chief Hata said.
The vehicle is however now sitting on four flat tyres after being parked in the open for 11 months now. Two locals interviewed repeated the unproven superstitions around the car’s abandonment with authority but a third was sceptical of the tale.
For Tauya Saungweme the vehicle was abandoned by a soldier from Kadoma who had visited the resort town but it developed mechanical problems forcing him to park it by the road side. Saungweme could however not explain why he then could not come back for the car 11 months on.
“It also boggles my mind on why the soldier never returned but a friend of mine who went to the vehicle vowing to take the money if there was any said he only saw an empty beer bottle and an army belt,” Saungweme said.
The supposed army belt that is visible through the back window could however explain why the vehicle is linked to a soldier. The truth could however be something else and the vehicle may have just been stolen elsewhere and dumped there.
But the mystery around the vehicle in a highly superstitious community in which half a dozen people have disappeared without a trace making many to believe they keep safe by keeping away from anything they do not understand may be its only protector from total vandalism.