Police have released the names of 15 of the 22 people who died on Tuesday night when a Toyota Quantum they were travelling in was involved in a head-on collision with a DAF truck along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road.
Two other people were also seriously injured during the accident.
In a statement national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed and said the 15 have since been identified by their next of kin.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police releases the names of 15 of the 22 victims who were killed in a road traffic accident which occurred on November 14, 2023, at the 27-km peg along Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road when a Toyota Quantum motor vehicle with 21 passengers on board was involved in a head-on collision with a DAF truck with one passenger on board,” he said.
The 15 victims are Brian Phiri (44), a male adult of Ndiweni Village in Kezi, Sadam Maenzane (31), a male adult Old Magwegwe, Bulawayo, Kifi Sphandla (48), a male adult of Nkulumane 5, Bulawayo, Tobias Ncube (36), a male adult of Mbundane, Bulawayo, Mehluli Sibanda (39), a male adult of Mpopoma in Bulawayo, Gilbert Nyoni (45), a male adult of Entumbani in Bulawayo, Ntuntuko Mpofu (33), a male adult of Emganwini in Bulawayo, Kylene Ndlovu (2 years), an infant of Njube, Bulawayo, Vongai Tshuma (36), a female adult of Njube, Bulawayo, Jennifer Ndlovu (42), a female adult of New Mangwegwe in Bulawayo.
Others are Sibonginkosi Ndlovu (42), of K West, Summerton , Bulawayo, Ruth Mawonidze (33), a female adult of Nketa 9, Bulawayo, Aldrean Ndlalambi (46), a male adult of Mkoba 16, in Gweru, Noah Haurambwe (40), a male adult of Pumula, Bulawayo and Dumoluhle Ndlovu (36), a male adult of Luveve 5, Bulawayo.
“The other seven victims are yet to be identified by their next of kin. Relatives who are missing family members who were travelling along the accident route on the day are advised to contact ZRP Esigodini Traffic on 0779 074 677 or 0773 865 797 or Matabeleland South Provincial Operations on (0284) 22323 or 22834 or National Complaints Desk on (0242) 703 631,” he said.
Meanwhile, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona yesterday sent a condolence message of the deceased.
“It is with a heavy heart that I address the nation on the bus crash which occurred on Tuesday 14 November 2023, at the 27km peg along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road in Umzingwane District. Tragically, 22 people died on the spot when the driver of a Toyota Quantum attempted to overtake and encroached into the lane of an oncoming lorry, leading to a head-on collision.
“Indeed, this is a worst nightmare to lose several of our beloved ones in such a single terrible crash, and it is certainly the worst nightmare that families and the whole nation can endure. Our thoughts are with the victims of the crash, the bereaved families, the injured and the survivors who witnessed the gruesome, traumatic and dark moment of the accident. During this sombre period, we call upon the whole nation to commiserate with the affected families, at a time when we wish a speedy recovery to the injured. We only wish that we do not record further casualties as the survivors continue to receive treatment and care,” he said.
He said incidences of this nature only serve as a clarion call to all stakeholders of the road traffic ecosystem, including motorists, operators and passengers to be more vigilant against road traffic violations, especially speeding.
“This unfortunate fatality is recorded as we approach the festive season and it is our hope that such occurrences do not recur. The ministry rallies all traffic law enforcement agencies, road traffic safety actors, motorists and road users to collaborate against road fatalities. We urge the nation to formulate rational decisions in making travel choices and prioritise use of safer vehicles with the right state of mind.
“Rational behaviours and attitudes are ingredients of a safer road traffic management regime, where all actors play their part for traffic safety. As passionate proponents of road safety, we wish to assure the nation that the Second Republic is committed to the formulation of robust legal, policy and administrative mechanisms to improve the country’s road safety regime and performance,” Minister Mhona said
He said the recent enactment of Statutory Instrument 118 of 2023 on Speed Limiting and Monitoring Devices Regulations and Statutory Instrument 119 of 2023 on Licensing of Drivers Regulations are an eloquent testimony of their commitment.
“We continue to urge all stakeholders to ensure compliance with the legal framework.The Government, through my Ministry, shall continue to monitor the situation and render appropriate assistance to the bereaved families and survivors of the accident,” Minister Mhona said.