President Mnangagwa yesterday expressed his deepest condolences to families that lost relatives in an accident involving a Zimbabwe National Army bus and another bus on Saturday along the Harare-Nyamapanda Highway.
The accident killed eight people and injured 31 others, with five of the deceased being army officers, while the rest were civilians.
In a statement to The Herald, President Mnangagwa said the tragedy, caused by human error, could have been avoided.
“I learnt with shock and great sadness of the death of five soldiers and three civilians along the Harare-Nyamapanda Highway on Saturday night following an accident involving a Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) bus and a Zebra Kiss Company bus,” he said.
“What pains us the most is that the tragedy could have been avoided were it not attributable to sheer human error. We have appealed time and time again to our drivers to exercise extreme caution on the roads, especially when driving at night, in order to avoid unnecessary loss of life or injury to our people through road accidents.”
The President wished the injured a speedy recovery.
“On behalf of Government, and on my own behalf, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased over the loss of their beloved ones, and to wish speedy recovery to many others who were injured in this accident,” he said.
“May they take comfort from the knowledge that they are not alone during this their hour of bereavement and sadness. The whole nation stands with them. May the souls of the departed rest in eternal peace.”
The Zimbabwe National Army yesterday released names of the five army officers who died in the accident.
ZNA 2 Infantry Brigade spokesperson Lieutenant Munyaradzi Mushayamano said they were Sergeant Dudzai Chimbadzo, Corporals Takemore Gatsi, Learnmore Matanga and Lenny Aisi and Private Tsungai Charmaine Mudondo.
On Sunday, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) national spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said the accident, which also involved another vehicle, a Toyota Isis, occurred near the Ministry of Transport offices along the highway.
The bodies of the deceased were ferried to Murehwa Hospital mortuary.
According to Lt Mushayamano, the accident occurred at the 92km peg along the Harare-Nyamapanda Highway when a Zebra Kiss bus side-swiped with the army bus at around 7.45pm.
The Zebra Kiss bus was heading towards Mutoko, while the army bus was travelling towards Harare.