A HAULAGE truck ploughed into a herd of cattle in Chimwara area near Halfway along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road, killing nine beats in the process.
The Chronicle was told that the accident occurred on Wednesday at around 6PM when the cattle were crossing the road from a nearby water source.
A Botswana registered truck reportedly hit 11 beasts and seven died on the spot while two others died a distance away.
The truck was headed towards Bulawayo and the accident happened at a depression between Halfway and Gwayi river.
The truck managed to stop by the side of the road a few meters away.
There was no visible damage to the truck and no one was injured, according to witnesses.
Chimwara 1 village head Mr Soda Ngwenya said villagers spent the night guarding the carcasses and waiting for police.
He said the owner of the cattle is yet to be identified but there was meat galore as some meat was sold on the roadside to travellers and villagers.
“It looks like the cattle were crossing the road when they were hit. We slept there waiting for the police.
We stopped a police car that was coming from Bulawayo going towards Hwange and they promised to tell those at Gwayi base to come and people waited until morning when the police came,” said Mr Ngwenya.
Police could not readily comment on the accident.
Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) managing director Mr Munesu Munodawafa urged farmers to closely monitor their livestock to prevent accidents.
“Farmers should take care of their livestock and ensure that they don’t stray along roads. This endangers the motoring public while they also lose their livestock,” he said.
Mr Munodawafa said communities should attach value to their animals and make sure they are safe.
“Farmers should appreciate the value their livestock have and protect them. That’s our appeal as TSCZ and once people appreciate that farming is a business we won’t have animals along the country’s roads,” he said.
Mr Munodawafa also appealed to motorists to avoid travelling at night and if they do, should exercise caution and avoid speeding.
Vehicles should be roadworthy to prevent accidents.
The Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road is one of the most dangerous roads to drive at night because of the heavy presence of cattle, donkeys and goats, especially from Umguza up to the Fatima area.
Wild animals are also a hazard at numerous crossing points.
In April this year, a CAG bus that was travelling from Victoria Falls to Harare ploughed into a herd of elephants between Mbizha and Matetsi along the same road and killed three of them.
Forty-five passengers who were on board and the bus crew escaped unhurt and the bus only shattered the front screen on the driver’s side.
In 2019, another bus hit a herd of buffaloes in Lubangwe along the same road and killed three on the spot.
There are several incidents of donkeys and cattle being hit and killed by vehicles along the road.