Blessings Chidakwa and Walter Nyamukondiwa
THIRTEEN people died on the spot, while 23 others were injured yesterday when a Chawasarira bus collided head-on with a commuter omnibus near the 152km peg just after Kadoma tollgate along the Harare-Bulawayo Highway. The accident occurred near Muzvezve River Bridge, about 10km outside Kadoma City at around 9am when the kombi, which was on its way from Empress Mine, encroached into the lane of the oncoming bus.
The bus, which had 31 passengers on board, dragged the kombi for about 75 metres, killing all its occupants.
Some of the passengers who were in the kombi require DNA testing for them to be positively identified.
One of the passengers died after being thrown out of the kombi on impact.
The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) has been activated and will provide funeral and logistical assistance to the bereaved families.
A raft of measures to curb road accidents will soon be tabled once the new Cabinet is announced.
Officer commanding Kadoma District Chief Superintendent Garikai Gwangwava said preliminary investigations into the accident pointed to a combination of a mechanical fault and human error.
“A Chawasarira bus that was coming from Harare headed for Bulawayo was involved in a head-on collision with a commuter omnibus that was coming from Empress Mine, killing 13 people. The driver of the Chawasarira bus lost a limp,” said Chief Supt Gwangwava.
“The driver of the commuter omnibus allegedly made a sudden U-turn in front of the oncoming bus resulting in a head-on collision. The commuter omnibus was dragged underneath the bus for about 75 metres, trapping everyone on board.”
Kadoma General Hospital Medical Super-intendent Dr Frankson Masiye said they had attended to 23 people and 22 were discharged.
The Chawasarira bus driver sustained serious injuries and was transferred to Harare Central Hospital.
“We attended to 23 patients but they have all been discharged except for the bus driver who has been transferred to Harare hospital,” he said.
The owner of the commuter omnibus, Mr Datsun Mapfumo, said the vehicle plies local routes and was coming from Donain, Venice, heading to Kadoma.
Moses Sibanda, who was near the accident scene, said they heard a loud bang and rushed to investigate only to find people trapped in the commuter omnibus under the Chawasarira bus.
“The driver of the bus suffered a broken leg. We realised that all the passengers in the bus had survived with minor injuries and well-wishers helped ferry the injured to Kadoma General Hospital,” he said.
A survivor, Mr Harrykanos Muchinjikwa, said he saw the commuter omnibus encroaching into the lane of the bus before the head-on collision.
“I was seating in seats close to the driver when suddenly I saw a kombi coming towards the bus. The bus driver tried to avoid hitting the kombi but it was coming too fast resulting in the vehicles colliding, raising a cloud of dust that we could not see the extent of the damage,” he said.
CPU national director Mr Nathan Nkomo said the unit was proposing a raft of measures to the incoming Cabinet.
“We want to pay condolences to the affected families. As the CPU we are going to assist the bereaved families with logistics. We request that the relatives of the affected families should assist in the identification of bodies,” he said.
“We have some measures which we want the responsible Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development to take to Cabinet for adoption. We believe that the measures will help in reducing road carnage.”