First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has urged passengers using public transport to sing while travelling to avoid fatal road accidents that have claimed hundreds of innocent lives this year.
She made the plea while launching the Road Safety Awareness Campaign at the Skyline Tollgate along the Harare – Masvingo Highway on Monday.
Speaking to passengers in a bus bound for Chiredzi from the capital, Harare, Mnangagwa told the passengers not to fall asleep along the way as this also forced the bus driver to sleep and lose control of the vehicle.
"The blame for most road traffic accidents has been placed on the bus driver due to human error. However, to avoid human error, I urge all passengers to sing along the way so that drivers will not fall asleep and cause unnecessary accidents," she said before breaking into Shona gospel song and urging other passengers to join her.
However, the passengers seemed to be shocked by her request to sing for the driver and ignored her before she turned her appeal to the driver of the bus who was told to use his brains when driving.
"Being a driver needs brains. It's not like herding cattle or going to the fields to till. I urge you not to fall asleep along the way," the First Lady advised the bus driver.
Transport Minister Joel Biggie Matiza revealed early this year that in 2018, 1 986 people died due to road accidents compared to 1 828 who perished in 2017. The figures for this year could not be established.
"Sadly, we continue to lose lives and limbs on our roads due to the preventable drivers' conducts. Last year 2018, we recorded an increase in road traffic collisions from 42 950 to 52 052 in 2018. Road traffic deaths also increased from 1 828 in 2017 to 1 986 in 2018. The number of people injured went up from 10 584 to 11 924," said Matiza.
"Deaths and injuries due to preventable road accidents are unacceptable. The sanctity of human life should be respected at all costs."