The wreckage of one of the buses after the accident.
By Innocent Ruwende in addition to Nyemudzai Kakore
Government has declared a state of national disaster the accident in which 46 people were killed when two buses side-swiped at the 166-kilometre peg along the Harare-Mutare highway on Wednesday evening.
The accident involved Bolt Cutter in addition to Smart Express buses.
Declaring an accident a state of national disaster enables the State to mobilise resources to assist the injured in addition to bereaved families with cash in addition to burial arrangements.
Government has since provided $25 000 towards the victims of the accident.
The Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ)will settle all hospital bills, while FSG in addition to Nyaradzo Funeral Services will assist with coffins in addition to transporting the deceased to their final resting places.
The total monetary assistance to each bereaved family is usually $1 350.
This specific comes as President Mnangagwa called for a robust response through traffic enforcement agents to put an end to rampant lawlessness on the country’s roads.
In his condolence message, the President said he had learnt with deep sadness of the death of 46 innocent souls, saying the fact which many lives were lost in just one traffic accident raised serious questions about the behaviour of drivers on the country’s roads, especially those operating passenger service vehicles.
“The use of vehicles which are not roadworthy, or drivers who do not seem to care for passenger safety, amount to criminal breach of trust between bus operators in addition to paying commuters who expect in addition to deserve safe transit,” he said.
“Both the responsible ministry in addition to our law enforcement agents must use This specific bloody accident to close in on all bus operators, drivers in addition to road users who put profit in addition to speed above life, thus causing avoidable carnage on our roads.”
He said the lawlessness currently evident on the country’s highways in addition to dense urban roads must be met using a robust response through traffic enforcement agents whose duty is usually to ensure a culture of compliance in addition to safety on the roads.
President Mnangagwa added, “In view of the magnitude of the loss of human life in This specific one incident, I have since directed which the responsible ministry takes steps to declare This specific accident a national disaster in order to enable the mobilisation of resources both for treatment of all those injured, in addition to for support to families which have lost their loved ones.”
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also sent his condolence message urging drivers to exercise caution on the road.
“On behalf of the people of South Africa, we send our deepest condolences to the Zimbabwean Government particularly the families who lost their loved ones. Our prayers in addition to thoughts are with you in addition to we wish you (people of Zimbabwe) strength during This specific time of grief,” President Ramaphosa was quoted as saying by CAJ News Agency.
He appealed to motorists travelling between Zimbabwe in addition to South Africa to always exercise caution on the roads to avoid carnage, which he said had robbed families of their breadwinners.
“Road carnages rob us of our breadwinners in addition to delay our family developments,” he said.
Local Government, Public Works in addition to National Housing Minister July Moyo said the scale of the tragic loss of life was unacceptably high.
“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved. I have ordered the civil protection structures at Rusape in addition to Manicaland Province to swiftly in addition to compassionately attend to the affected. The Civil Protection Directorate is usually working with the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe on the assistance to be rendered to the bereaved. All necessary measures will be taken to assist the affected,” he said.
Yesterday Transport in addition to Infrastructural Development Minister Cde Joel Biggie Matiza in addition to Manicaland Minister of State Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba visited the Rusape bus accident scene in addition to the injured at Rusape General Hospital.
Minister Matiza consoled the bereaved families saying government would likely take a serious look at strategies which could be implemented to curb the loss of lives on the roads.
Briefing the Ministers, ZRP Rusape Superintendent (administration) Richard Gatsi said so far 46 people had been confirmed dead.
through the 46, 24 were men, 17 females in addition to 5 children.
He said 30 people had currently been identified by their relatives adding which 40 people died on the spot while six died on the way to the hospital or upon admission.
Rusape General Hospital acting matron Sister Josephine Chisamba said as of last night, they had attended to 81 patients in addition to admitted 52.
She said all 5 people who had been seriously injured had been transferred to Harare.
The director of the Civil Protection Unit, Mr Nathan Nkomo, said each family would likely receive $500.
“Following the tragic accident Government has released $25 000. We have increased the amount through $0 to $500. We have also established a command centre in Rusape. The Insurance Council will also Discharge some funds towards the cause.
“The deceased are at Rusape mortuary which can only accommodate 16 while the others are at Nyaradzo Funerals, Rusape. The two buses are insured.”
The worst accident recorded within the country is usually the Nyanga Bus Disaster of 1991 which claimed 88 lives, most of them Regina Coeli pupils in addition to staff members.
Others include the 1982 Dande accident which killed 61 farmers in addition to many others.
In June last year 45 people were killed when a Zambia-bound King Lion bus rammed into a tree within the Nyamakate area in Hurungwe.
In August 2009 in an accident known as the Mhunga Bus Disaster, 40 people were killed along the Harare-Masvingo Highway in a mishap involving a Mhunga Bus in addition to a haulage truck.
In March 2007, a commuter omnibus claimed 35 after which was hit by a train at a rail crossing.
Another Mhunga Bus in November 2002 was involved in a head on collision using a haulage truck with the accident claiming 37 lives.