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Mnangagwa grants State-assisted burials for 22 Quantum accident victims

by Staff reporter
17 Nov 2023 at 05:03hrs | Views
President Mnangagwa yesterday paid his condolences to the families of the 22 people, who died in a head-on collision involving a Toyota Quantum minibus and a DAF truck along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road on Tuesday, promising them State-assisted funerals, while also wishing those injured a speedy recovery.

In a statement, President Mnangagwa said he had been "horrified and heartbroken" upon hearing of the fatal collision.

Such an occurrence and subsequent loss of lives, he said, was a bad start to the festive season and he called on motorists to exercise utmost caution and adhere to road safety rules and regulations.

"The death of 22 Zimbabweans in a head-on collision along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Highway on Tuesday night left me horrified and heart-broken. What adds to the horror is that this accident comes barely days after two separate similar ones in which nine innocent lives also perished.

"Zimbabwe does not deserve this at all, let alone such a bloody beginning to this year's festive season," he said.

"Government will weigh in by according victims of this horrendous crash State-assisted burial."

President Mnangagwa said it was imperative that measures are put in place to avert the needless loss of life.

He charged all Government arms to ensure that safety prevails on the country's roads, especially during the festive season.

"Everything has to be done to arrest this needless loss of life at a time when we all should be celebrating closure to yet another peaceful year.

"I thus appeal to all motorists to exercise maximum caution on our roads, both for their sake and for the safety of fellow road users who do not deserve a violent end such as we have just witnessed.

"I direct arms of Government seized with the responsibility of ensuring safety on our roads to work around the clock, and to use all means and powers lawfully available to them to reduce if not put an end to such carnage," he said.

"As I express my deepest, heartfelt condolences to families and relatives who have lost their loved ones in this deadly crash, my heart goes out to all those injured and still hospitalised, praying that theirs will be a speedy recovery."

The President implored Zimbabweans to cultivate a new road culture that would ensure the preservation of lives.

"No effort should be spared towards ensuring compliance with our traffic rules, in order to avert any more such accidents which invariably leave scores dead and injured.

"Let us, as a nation, use this latest bloody accident to develop a new road culture which is founded on responsible, safety-conscious and law-abiding behaviour. We owe one another no less," said the President.

Only two people survived the crash, Ms Junior Moyo (38) from Ngwizi, Mangwe District in Matabeleland South who was in the Quantum, and the truck driver, Mr Kizito Mawoneke (41) who was travelling from Beitbridge to Hwange.

Both are admitted at Mpilo Central Hospital.

While narrating the ordeal to our sister publication, Chronicle, from his hospital bed, Mr Mawoneke said he could not recall what had transpired.

"I don't even know what happened afterward. I only found myself in this bed," he said.

Ms Moyo echoed the same sentiments while expressing gratitude for the preservation of her life, even though she had lost R56 000 in the carnage.

"I am just thankful for the life that was spared to us," she said.

Road safety experts have stressed the need for far more rigid adherence to speed limits and other driving rules as road conditions are dramatically improved under the Government's emergency road maintenance and reconstruction. High quality roads allow much faster speeds and many are tempted to break speed limits as a result. Speed is regarded as a major killer on the roads, hence the need to enforce speed limits.

Source - The Herald