The Passenger Association of Zimbabwe has urged the Government to ban the use of second-hand tyres on public service vehicles following the death of 17 people in a road accident along the Harare-Nyamapanda highway on Sunday. Twelve people died on the scene of the accident near Juru Growth Point in Mashonaland East Province. Two more died from their injuries on admission at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
Yesterday, police confirmed the death of three more people from injuries sustained in the accident, bringing the total death toll to 17.
PAZ president Mr Tafadzwa Goliati called for the ban, while paying condolences to the bereaved families.
“As PAZ we call upon Government to act decisively on the ban on second-hand tyres and they should also ensure that as a nation we are able to manufacture affordable tyres that suit our climate and road conditions. Government must actively help resuscitate Apollo (formerly Dunlop) in Bulawayo,” he said.
He said PAZ had noted with concern that drivers continued to be blamed for road accidents.
“In this case the cause was a tyre burst. Commuter omnibus owners must consistently ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy. Commuter omnibus operators must also desist from giving kombi crews targets that are very difficult to meet, which leads to overloading and speeding,” Mr Goliati said.
He said Government must introduce regulations that allow only conventional buses to service long-distance routes.
“We also lobby for an increase in the amount of compensation that is given to road accident victims through the passenger liability cover being managed by the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We request that police and VID work round the clock on our highways during this festive season to prevent further loss of life and injuries due to road accidents,” said Mr Goliati.
Meanwhile, police have released the names of 14 of the victims.
In a statement, chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the bodies of a toddler, and two male and female adults were yet to be identified.
Those identified are Godknows Chitate (24) of Sunningdale 2 in Harare, Febby Mugamanyadzi (55) of Murehwa, Welldone Njerere (7) of Juru, Spencer Hwedenga (36) of Zengeza 5 in Chitungwiza, Medread Ruka (66) of Juru, Leeny Makusha (4) of Murehwa and Violet Manuel (20) of Zengeza 2 in Chitungwiza.
Others are Ellis Makaza (30) of Jonasi Village, Chief Chitsungo (Pfungwe), Edison Madziva (32) of Gokwe, Bianca Nadzo (18) of Murehwa, Wiriranayi Kawerenga (37) of Murehwa, Sara Makusha (13) of Goromonzi and Lisa Makusha (14) of Murehwa.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the three unidentified bodies were at Murehwa Hospital mortuary.
She urged people missing their relatives to visit Murehwa Police Station.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police urges public service vehicle operators to ensure that their vehicles are checked regularly before embarking on journeys for fitness, which includes tyres, brakes, lights and other essential components.
“Drivers should not speed in order to safeguard lives this festive season and only carry passengers stipulated under the respective vehicle’s registration permit,” she said.
In a statement on Monday, President Mnangagwa said it was painful that the accident near Juru Growth Point was once again attributed to human error.
“It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that I learnt yesterday (Sunday) of yet another road accident involving two commuter omnibuses along the Harare-Nyamapanda highway which by today had claimed 14 innocent lives.
This latest commuter omnibus disaster comes hard on the heels of last week’s road accident near Checheche Growth Point in Chipinge that claimed 12 lives when a haulage truck collided with a commuter omnibus,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the accidents could have been avoided.
The President said Government would help the bereaved families to meet funeral expenses.
Source : The Herald