Hurungwe accident a wake-up call for more measures on road safety

By Buhle Tshavango
Minister of Transport and Infrastructural development Dr Joram Gumbo has been urged to withdraw the passer permit for King Lion Bus Company after a series of accidents leading to the latest one that led to the death of 43 passengers and has been declared a national disaster.
In a statement by the International Cross-border Traders Association (ICTA), they cited that the company which has recorded a succession of accidents over the past few years should have been investigated to avoid costing more lives.
“So many children have been orphaned by the negligence of untrained King Lion bus drivers. All incidents are convincing enough that King Lion bus drivers are not professionally and defensively trained.Therefore, claiming such a number of lives in a short period of time like this is unacceptable”, said ICTA President Denis Juru.
Members of Parliament present during the National Assembly sitting yesterday observed a moment of silence in respect of the 43 passengers who died in the tragic Hurungwe accident.
Vice President Emerson Munangagwa in response to a question raised by Hon Nelson Chamisa on what would be done to the bereaved families assured the august house that the Government was prepared to assist once the accident was declared a national disaster.
The accident was then declared a national disaster in accordance with section 27 (i) of the Civil Protection Act (chapter 10.06) of 1989 which entails the provision of US$200 dollars for the burial of each of the deceased.
President Mugabe expressed his condolences and bemoaned what he termed a senseless loss of so many innocent lives in circumstances that could otherwise have been avoidable.
A number of road accidents have occurred in the recent years, some attributed to negligent driving whilst others have blamed the poor state of roads awhile other roads are too narrow leading to the dualisation of the first phase of Chirundu –Beitbridge highway.
Government has made strides in road traffic safety with plans underway to come up with a legislation making it compulsory for all public service vehicles to be fitted with speed limiting gadgets to limit fatalities.
Zimbabwe is ranked fourth in Africa after Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa in terms of the mid-term status of implementation of the African Road Safety Action Plan, much work still needs to ensure the safety of passengers.

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