Mutare – You’re driving along and a snake suddenly jumps through your window and lands on your dashboard. What do you do?
That was the dilemma facing a Zimbabwean driver in the eastern city of Mutare last week and he did not think twice: he jumped out of his moving vehicle, according to the Manica Post newspaper.
Julius Hozheri’s driverless delivery van rammed into a shopping centre in central Mutare, the paper says in its latest edition.
Fortunately no-one was hurt but part of a financial institution was damaged.
Hozheri himself escaped unscathed – most likely because his van was slowing down to reach a junction.
The Manica Post said he had trouble convincing passersby that a snake had “jumped” into his car – until they saw it with their own eyes in the (now battered) delivery van.
Police and bystanders confirmed the incident.
Hozheri told the paper the snake was getting ready to strike him, adding: “Some said I was hallucinating while others said I was trying to cover up negligent driving by attributing the accident to wild assertions.”
“People started to believe me when they found the snake in the damaged car.”
“What I knew was that I was alive and had escaped from the jaws of death.”
The paper said the snake might be an Eastern brown snake but that seems unlikely since Zimbabwe is not a known habitat of this snake. There are a number of highly dangerous snakes found in this part of Zimbabwe, including black mambas, spitting cobras and gaboon vipers. There are also a number of harmless snakes in the area.
Last year a black mamba interfered with Mutare’s water supply by chasing away electricians and technicians trying to work on a water tank there, the Manica Post reported.