- Published on 21 May 2014
- Written by Herald
Police have identified the 10 people who were killed along Seke Road on Monday when a Chitungwiza-bound commuter omnibus veered off the road and rammed a tree at the Chinhamo black spot.
Meanwhile, Government has offered $200 per person towards burial costs.
In a statement, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo yesterday sent condolence messages to the bereaved families.
"It is with a great sense of sorrow and revulsion that I received the tragic news of yet another fatal kombi accident yesterday in which 10 people lost their lives. According to reports by eye-witnesses and traffic police the major causal factor of the accident was speeding," he said
Minister Chombo condemned the behaviour of some of the kombi drivers.
"The atrocious driving culture especially among kombi drivers has recently captured adverse publicity in the media but this public ire appears to be falling on deaf ears.
"As the Minister with a mandate for emergency preparedness and disaster management, I shall consult the relevant Cabinet colleagues and law enforcement authorities with the view to taming the traffic jungle in our midst," he said.
"On behalf of residents of Chitungwiza, commuter travellers and indeed the nation, I would wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved families for their loss. I also invoke provisions of the Civil Protection Act Chapter 10:06 Section 32 by offering $200 each for assistance with burial costs."
Police released the names of the 10 people and they are the driver, Chanengeta Musiiwa (28),Violet Taruvinga (40), Tsikirai Nelson Matambo (84), Award Chipunza (26), Tendai Mukoti (32), Grace Gomani (26), Judith Chari (7), Chikondowa Foward (30), Menus Chinyoka (64) and Rueben Chikafu (30).
Of the four people who were taken to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, two of them were discharged on Monday while another one was discharged yesterday.
One person was still admitted.
Initial investigations showed the kombi driver tried to overtake another vehicle but lost control.
Musiiwa was coming from the city heading towards Chitungwiza. The owner of the kombi Mr Fortune Ganha also faces potential arrest as Musiiwa was unqualified to drive a public service vehicle.
National police spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said police were concerned about such operators who disregard public safety.
"Certainly the law will take its course," he said.
Investigations revealed that Musiiwa did not have a defensive driving certificate and had just recently acquired his driver's licence.
The commuter omnibus had no passenger insurance and no route authority.
According to the Road Motor Transportation Act Chapter 13:10, public service vehicle drivers should be above the age of 25, should have certificates of retest, defensive driving and medical fitness.
A commuter omnibus should have an operator's licence, certificate of fitness, route authority, passenger insurance and a current licence disc, among others.
Meanwhile, the Chitungwiza Commuter Omnibus Operators Association secretary general Mr Farai Muza said they raised $3 000 to assist with the burials.
"We are concerned hence raising the money to lessen the burden. It is painful to note that many left children and several dependants behind. The accident was caused by avoidable human error," he said.
Mr Ganha paid his condolences to seven families of the deceased in Chitungwiza yesterday.
"I am short of words over what happened and I do not send our vehicles to crush people. I am really sorry about what happened which was not intentional," he said.
When asked over reports that the late driver did not have the relevant experience, he said his driver had given the car to Chanengeta who was unqualified.
"I heard about the issue in the papers. All I can say is that he was not the driver I employed. My driver gave him the keys and he ended up in an accident," he said.