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.
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