ONE Zimbabwean was killed and 34 others were injured, two of them seriously when the driver of a Munhenzwa bus they were travelling in lost control, resulting in the vehicle overturning near Tweefontein area, some 20km outside Polokwane in South Africa yesterday.
The accident occurred at around 4.30 AM along South Africa’s N1 highway.
Limpopo’s Department of Transport spokesperson, Mr Joshua Kwapa, said the injured were taken to Polokwane Government Hospital and the deceased’s body was taken to the same hospital’s mortuary. He said investigations into the accident were underway, although they suspect that human error and fatigue caused the crash.
Mr Kwapa said the deceased’s relatives were yet to be advised. He said motorists should plan their trips properly and rest at regular intervals.
The Zimbabwe Cross-Border Traders Association (ZCBTA) has urged Government to ban public transporters from travelling during the night following a series of fatal accidents involving cross-border buses in recent months.
The latest accident involving such buses occurred on Wednesday night, which claimed 43 people when a Lion King bus veered off the road in the Nyamakate area in Mashonaland West province and hit a tree.
Another fatal accident involving a cross-border transporter occurred in April when a Proliner bus was side-swiped by a haulage truck, killing at least 31 people along the Harare-Masvingo Highway, near Chaka Business Centre.
ZCBTA president Dr Killer Zivhu said in a statement yesterday that his association would consider seeking a court interdict to ensure buses were banned from the roads as from 9pm, if Government did not act.
He said most of the people being killed in such accidents were members of his association travelling to neighbouring countries.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has proposed the setting up of a fund to assist road accident victims and their families, as it emerged that an accident occurs every 15 minutes and five people are killed daily on the country’s roads. The proposal has already been submitted to Cabinet for consideration.
The initiative, to be known as the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, comes at a time when at least 1 700 people die in road traffic accidents in Zimbabwe annually, while 30 000 are injured.
The establishment of the fund is in line with the United Nations Decade of Road Safety action plan.
Speaking at a consultative meeting in Harare recently, Transport and Infrastructural Development deputy minister Engineer Michel Madanha said Zimbabwe was one the few Sadc countries yet to establish such a fund.
The driver of the 69-seater King Lion bus which killed 43 people mostly cross border traders and injured 31 others on Wednesday night was reportedly speeding despite pleas from passengers to exercise caution.
The driver, whose name could not be established at the time of going to print, also died in the horror crash at the 257 km peg on the Harare-Chirundu highway.
It emerged that the bus had 76 passengers on-board, with some of them standing or sitting in the aisle.
The accident occurred at around 10pm on Wednesday night near the 256km peg in Nyamakate, about 40km outside Karoi along the Harare-Chirundu highway.
Drivers reportedly speed to make it in time before Chirundu Border Post closes around 10pm. They prefer sleeping after customs formalities on the Zimbabwean side of the border, before proceeding to the Zambian side when business opens the following morning.
This is done to avoid having luggage searched. Reports suggest that the buses are also used to carry contraband by crews. Another survivor, Nathan Kanaveti said some women in the bus approached the driver twice to protest about his speed.
Another bus which left Road Port in Harare earlier than the King Lion bus was overtaken before Chinhoyi. It passed the accident scene about an hour later.
FORTY-THREE people died on the spot while 30 were injured when a Zambia-bound King Lion bus rammed into a tree in the Nyamakate area in Hurungwe on Wednesday night.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the bus driver failed to negotiate a curve leading to him losing control of the bus which then hit a tree before overturning. Snr Asst Comm Charamba said due to the impact of the crash some of the seats were dislodged and thrown to the front of the bus.
“Five have since been transferred to Harare for further management while 25 are receiving treatment at Chinhoyi and Karoi hospitals and are in a stable condition.
“The bodies of the deceased were conveyed to Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital mortuary for post-mortem,” she said. Snr Asst Comm Charamba said police are investigating the accident and more details will be availed in due course.
The International Cross- Border Traders’ Association immediately called on the Government to withdraw King Lion Bus Company’s passenger permit.
The association’s president, Mr Denis Juru, said the company should be investigated on all accidents that their buses have been involved in over the years. “This bus company has been involved in too many accidents which add up to a large number of people having died.
AN 87-year-old man from Zaka allegedly fatally knocked down an elderly mourner and injured three others when he accidentally reversed a relative’s car while trying to take a selfie during a funeral wake.
The unlicensed Toperesu Makwara of Siyawareva Village under Chief Ndanga allegedly got into Liberty Mungana’s car to take a picture of himself. He allegedly sat behind the steering in the vehicle, which had its engine running.
Villagers said he somehow stepped on the accelerator and the car which was in reverse gear started moving and hit four mourners who were sitting behind it.
Patrick Chiro (72) of Chiro Village was seriously injured and doctors pronounced him dead upon arrival at Musiso Mission Hospital where he was rushed for treatment.
Mr Zvinei Tapanya (62) of Nhopi Village, Ms Eunice Mubango (40) of Chiro Village and Ms Regai Maponga (42) of Siyawareva Village sustained injuries. The three were rushed to the same hospital where they were treated and discharged.
Police fired shots in the air and teargas canisters in Karoi on Tuesday to disperse a mob that torched a council vehicle in protest against the death of a woman hit by a car at which council workers had thrown spikes. In an attempt to evade the spikes, the driver of the vehicle ploughed into pedestrians, resulting in the death of the woman and injury to three of her relatives.
Another pedestrian was injured as the vehicle spiralled out of control. This is set to reignite debate on the use of spikes, which has largely centred on the police, the Vehicle Inspection Department and councils. The incident is said to have been caused by council traffic management workers who allegedly threw the spikes on the moving car.
The angry mob went on to stone and set on fire on the vehicle where two of the council workers who had used the spikes sought refuge. Those hit by the car included the now deceased Mrs Chiedza Mandizvidza (59) of Chiedza Township in Karoi and her son Patrick (31), who is admitted at Karoi District Hospital after sustaining a fractured pelvis. Patrick is now unable to walk or pass urine due to the injuries.
Mrs Mandizvidza’s grandsons aged 13 and 17 were also injured in the incident.
THE Government is setting up a fund to assist road accident victims after it emerged an accident occurs every 15 minutes and about five people are killed every day on the country’s roads.
A levy on fuel or motorists has been considered among possible ways to raise money for the fund.
The Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Engineer Michael Madanha, yesterday told Bulawayo residents at a Road Accident Fund Consultation meeting that accident statistics had forced his ministry to act.
“These statistics though frightening must always be remembered so that we come up with a viable and sustainable Fund which takes into consideration our country’s economic realities,” said Eng Madanha.
“The dilemma service providers face becomes one of deciding between response to save lives with the possibility that the majority of the injured may not be able to pay for the services versus long term viability.”
A MAN from Tsholotsho who went on a joyride with friends in a Toyota Hilux Twin Cab he had stolen from his uncle, was involved in an accident that killed two people and seriously injured five others.
Ring Ncube (32) of Sikisi village under chief Gampu, is now on the police wanted list after fleeing from the scene. The accident occurred on Tuesday at around 9PM along the Mbamba-Mathe gravel road.
Ncube lost control of the vehicle when he swerved to avoid an oncoming donkey-drawn cart. The vehicle overturned and rolled once before landing on its wheels.
Ncube who escaped unhurt, vanished from the scene as soon as he saw that one of his friends was dead. Nomore Sibanda (35) of the same village sustained serious head injuries and died on the spot while Rest Moyo (30) died upon admission to Tsholotsho District Hospital.
ELEVEN people died while several others were seriously injured when a Toyota Hiace commuter omnibus collided head-on with a haulage truck near Summerview shopping centre in Zhombe along Gokwe-Kwekwe highway on Friday night.
The accident occurred at around 7 PM when the Gokwe bound commuter omnibus which had approximately 18 people on board collided head-on with a haulage truck which was heading towards Kwekwe.
According to passengers, the haulage truck first sideswiped an ox drawn cart which had three people on board and swerved to the right encroaching onto the lane of the oncoming commuter omnibus resulting in the head-on collision.
They said three of the dead were in the cart while eight were in the kombi.
MORE than 10 people were injured in an accident near Kwekwe after 10 vehicles were involved in a pile-up triggering a three hour blockade of the Bulawayo-Harare highway on Thursday evening.
Gweru magistrate Mr Tendai Madanhire who is said to be in a critical condition at a Harare hospital, was among those who were injured following the pile up.
The vehicle pile-up occurred at a flyover just before the Redcliff turnoff at around 6PM and the highway was blocked for about three hours. A commuter omnibus which was coming from Kwekwe was involved in a head on collision with a truck on the highway triggering the pile-up.
“The commuter omnibus which was coming from Kwekwe town with sixteen passengers on board tried to overtake another commuter omnibus resulting in a head-on collision with an oncoming truck. In the process he hit two vehicles including the one that was being driven by Gweru magistrate before it overturned,” said Clr Kapuya.
He said after the collision, there was a pile up of vehicles on either side of the road.
A POLICE officer who allegedly overtook another vehicle at a blind rise resulting in a head-on collision that killed the chief executive officer of Redcliff-based company, Steelmakers, Mr Alexander Johnson and two others has appeared in court facing three counts of culpable homicide.
Constable Privilege Fundira (31) of Number 1 Mugabe Way in Newton suburb, Kwekwe who was driving without a driver’s licence, allegedly caused the death of Mr Johnson, his wife Achamma and their driver Mr Sherman Majuru last year.
Fundira who appeared before Kwekwe Magistrate Mr Livard Philemon, pleaded not guilty to all the counts and was remanded in custody to May 5.
Fundira produced a photocopy of a licence he claimed to have obtained from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, Mr Philemon said the licence appeared to be fake. Prosecuting, Ms Yeukai Mugumba said on May 18 last year, Fundira was driving a Mercedes Benz along the Harare-Kwekwe road towards Kwekwe without a driver’s licence.
“On the same date, Mr Sherman Majuru, the driver of Mr Johnson’s vehicle was driving a Mercedes Benz on the same road going the opposite direction with Mr and Mrs Johnson on board,” she said. Ms Mugumba said on approaching the 196 km peg, near Sable Chemicals Company near Kwekwe, Fundira overtook a vehicle that was in front of him resulting in a head on collision with Mr Johnson’s vehicle.
Mr Johnson and his wife died on the spot while Mr Majuru died on admission to Kwekwe District Hospital,” she said. The court heard that Fundira and two other passengers were seriously injured and were taken to Kwekwe District Hospital where they were admitted and later discharged.
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