Truck driver indicted in fatal Chirumhanzu crash

The indictment contained 20 counts of vehicular homicide against Regis Mungwari, 29, who was driving to Harare, according to court papers.

At least 20 people were killed after the haulage truck reportedly sideswiped the bus and caught fire on Wednesday last week, with most of the victims “burnt beyond recognition”.

The South Africa-bound bus had over 60 passengers on board, while the truck was laden with tyres.

At least 15 passengers managed to escape through the windows, witnesses said.

Mungwari appeared before the Mvuma Magistrates’ Courts last Friday. He was denied bail and taken to Whawha Remand Prison.  He was remanded in custody to April 20.

In denying him bail, the magistrate concurred with the State prosecutor who argued Mungwari was not a proper candidate for bail considering that he did not have a fixed address in Zimbabwe, he was employed in South Africa and was a potential flight risk, and that he could commit suicide.

As a South African truck driver, to grant him bail, the court would be required to legalise his residency status while he awaits trial, the court noted.

Authorities have said he was speeding on a winding road and on approaching the 218km peg, Mungwari allegedly encroached onto the path of the oncoming bus.

The bus and the haulage truck sideswiped and both vehicles caught fire.

The charge of vehicular manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The officer commanding national traffic, Felistus Chikowore Mjanga and the officer commanding Midlands Province Abigail Moyo attended to the scene of the accident.

Authorities have said that the identification process is being carried out one family at a time, as it is a moment of intense pain it can take very long.

Identifying some victims was so difficult that additional DNA testing was required, according to government pathologist Tsungai Javangwe. However, by late yesterday, none had been formally identified

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