- Published on 17 July 2014
- Written by Southerneye
THE two Zimbabweans who died in a horrific car crash in Zambia on Sunday night while driving from Tanzania were third-year electrical engineering students on apprenticeship at the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company in Bulawayo.
24-year-old Reward Nkomo (PICTURED) of Gwanda and Nicholas Dube of Bulawayo died on the spot when an Alpha Romeo vehicle that Nkomo had just imported was involved in a head-on collision with a haulage truck outside the Tanzanian border between Tunduma and Chilenje towns about 500km away from the Zambian capital Lusaka.
Nkomo was said to be behind the wheel at the time of the accident. Nkomo and Dube, who were close friends, died on the spot from impact and were found trapped in the vehicle.
Nkomo's father Agrippa confirmed the death of his son saying they had been notified of the accident on Monday by Zimbabwean police.
"From the information we are gathering, it was a head-on collision and we hear part of that road is bad. However, we have not heard what happened to the truck driver," the elder Nkomo said.
He said representatives of Nkomo and Dube families were set to leave for Zambia yesterday to go and positively identify the boys' remains and bring them to Zimbabwe for burial. He said they were still trying to raise funds to transport the remains back to Zimbabwe.
"We are still trying to work out on how we can bring the deceased home. We are looking at leaving for Zambia today (yesterday), but we are still running around to raise transport funds. We have two options, either to drive our own vehicle into Zambia or alternatively hire a funeral parlour to ferry the bodies to the border where a local parlour will take over," Nkomo said.
He said about $4,000 was needed to transport the remains.
Most Zimbabweans have resorted to importing cheaper second-hand vehicles from Japan and the United Kingdom via Tanzania as it is relatively cheaper than using South Africa or Botswana, which have banned imported used vehicles on their roads.
My Zimbabwe News' editor, who has been to Tanzania several times said he had witnessed several accidents every time he went to Tanzania. He said drivers take a great risk of driving without having adequate rest as the journey is too long.
"It's about 2,300km from Dar-es-Salaam to Harare. When one goes to collect a car there he normally drives both during the day and night. So these guys might have been tired and feeling sleepy when the accident occurred. Haulage trucks and buses are not allowed to cross the border before 5am so I believe the haulage truck driver might have slept adequately. Also the road is bad especially several kilometres before reaching the border, which is the area where the accident occurred. At times you are forced to travel on the right lane because the road is bad, and that puts vehicles at risk of having a head-on collision. Every time I have been to Tanzania I would always witness an accident, some of them being fatal," he said.