18 die in kombi, truck accident

Head on: The two vehicles crashed into each other, killing 15 people on the spot

Head on: The two vehicles crashed into each other, killing 15 people on the spot

Herald Reporters
BODIES of some of the 18 people who died in an accident involving a South Africa-registered truck and a commuter omnibus along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway early yesterday morning were piled at Neshuro Clinic, which ran out of mortuary space.
Police said the accident occurred at around 3am at the 206km peg near Bubi, claiming 14 people on the spot, with one person dying on admission to Neshuro Clinic, while another died on the way to Bulawayo.

An update later in the day indicated that two more passengers died on their way to Bulawayo, bringing the death toll to 18, while 11 others who were injured were admitted at Beitbridge District Hospital.

The Mercedes Benz Sprinter commuter omnibus, which was heading to Musina in South Africa from Masvingo, had 28 passengers, while the truck which was heading to Masvingo had three occupants.

The mortuary at Neshuro Clinic can only accommodate 10 bodies and already had three before the accident.
The clinic’s medical superintendent Dr Itai Matibiri said they were battling to ensure the bodies which were piled in the morgue were secure.

“We are now stuck with the bodies of the accident victims,” he said.
Dr Matibiri said they were considering transferring some of the bodies to Ngomahuru Hospital mortuary, about 100km away.

He said post-mortems conducted showed that most of the victims died from head injuries and haemorrhage.
Speaking after visiting Neshuro Clinic, Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said the absence of a major referral hospital close to the highway was making it difficult to save lives in case of accidents.

“We appeal to Government to consider building a big hospital along the highway because some accident victims are dying before they can get assistance,” he said.
One of the accident survivors admitted at Beitbridge District Hospital, Mr Tavaruva Tavaruva (29), said he was lucky to be alive.

“I was asleep when it all happened and I believe that I survived because I was sitting on the right end of the back seat,” he said. “I sustained head and neck injuries.
“The bus only left Masvingo at 1am after it developed a mechanical fault after it attempted to depart at 10pm the previous night.”

Mr Tavaruva said two other passengers aborted the journey when the bus developed a mechanical fault, but had to engage in a heated argument with the bus crew which was refusing to refund them.

He said the commuter omnibus had a few standing passengers.
Beitbridge District Hospital staff were busy attending to some of the injured, while two more people were being readied for transfer to Bulawayo.

National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi called on motorists to exercise caution on the roads.
“Drivers should rest especially when travelling at night and always proceed where their mental faculties allow them to concentrate on movements on the roads,” he said. “Police are still conducting investigations into this road accident.”

The Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge road is notorious for major accidents, mainly because it is narrow and that it is busy at most times.

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  • wezhira wezheve

    May they rest in peace.

    for the injured and dependants, please enquire, don’t just mourn, lets start taking actionHigh Court Judgements:
    Woman awarded US$36,475.00 with interest as damages for injuries sustained in a road traffic accident

    Ndava v Takaruwa & Another
    Supreme Court
    Case No: …
    Civil Appeal No. SC 350/12

    This is an appeal against the judgment of the High Court dated 25 October 2012 by which a claim for damages amounting to US$36 475.00 in respect of injuries received in a car accident was dismissed with costs.

    The facts of the case are these. On 12 February 2010 at about midnight the appellant was a passenger in a 25 seater minibus belonging to the second respondent and driven by the first respondent within the scope and course of his employment, from Beitbridge to Harare plying the Harare-Masvingo highway. At the 45km peg the minibus was involved in a collision with the rear right side of a trailer being pulled by a Malawian registered horse truck. As a result of the collision the minibus overturned and lay on its right side in the lane for on-coming traffic. The appellant, who had fallen asleep, woke up to find herself trapped under the back seat where she had been sitting. She sustained severe injuries to the right forearm in respect of which she later received treatment in the form of debridement and skin grafting.

    The appeal is allowed with costs. The judgement of the court a quo is set aside and substituted with the following:

    1. The claim is granted with costs.

    2. The defendants shall pay the plaintiff the sum of US$36 475.00 with interest thereon at the prescribed rate from 12 February 2010, the one paying the other to be absolved.

    • Mwari Ave Nesu

      This works if there are no bribes as the case at the labour court where rich employers pay judges to subvert the law. Cases drag and take twists and turns. Most cases are heard after after long delays. We have witnessed funny judgments indeed. Somehow God has a way of solving these issues. Most business people who bribe judges are never successful. Their wealthy somehow eventually fizzles out. Likewise most judges who take bribes find themselves in many misfortunes and cheated employees end up getting by. This is the case with RTA cases. If the claim is huge some wealthy transporters are prepared to pay judges. I honestly do not know what the solution is honestly. Lets us all pray and hope this Heroes holiday won’t be that bad.

    • Kujo

      Wonder why people are even worried about fixing the Plumtree – Mutare road which is not even bad or busy and not putting money on this killer Beitbridge- Harare road

  • Goshen Chidhakwa

    the government should do something in our roads as a matter of urgency cos we risk loosing precious lives

    • Chamunorwa

      What does the government has to do when one of the drivers encroached into another lane?

      • Chen Hu

        Government must construct demarcations between lanes, especially the busy highways like the Masvingo road. Highways must be well maintained, put lots of speed breakers, ban the use of mass transport during the night etc, so many measures that can be put in place to REDUCE avoidable deaths. The buck stops with Govt on this one. Its just lack of right, controlling and mitigatory policy.

      • not rocket science

        Maybe if there were serious penalties for careless driving instead of a rap on the wrist, maybe if law enforcement agencies were not corruptible which has people daring to put others at risk all the time, maybe if companies were held responsible for making sure their drivers are properly educated or they will be sued when this kind of thing happens (like comedian Tracy Morgan suing Walmart for an accident causes by a driver who allegedly had had little time to rest), we will have change. It happens in other places, we just need the political will to bring sanity back to the roads nokuti migwagwa yedu ave masango anotyisa.

      • rukudzo

        Dual carriageway to reduce risk is the way forward.

        • Phato Sthole

          100% @Rukudzo.. dualise the damn road and put kerbing pakati to create space of at least 2 meters between traffic going opposite ways especially on blind spots and other dangerous points

      • wezhira wezheve

        widen the raods…Duh!
        Create employment to reduce cross boarder trading..Duh?
        make rules that ensure safe travelling…Duh!
        Government is clearly liable, they must create the enabling environment for safe travelling

      • Rodger

        The Government MUST make the highways safer by constructing dual-carriageways kwete kuswerotengerana maBenz.Chete iBhora mughedhi-ndozvakadiwa neruzhinji.

      • Phato Sthole

        Chamunorwa you can’t possibly be serious or maybe you have no clue how things work in a properly organised highway infrastructure. If you have ever driven or traveled on that bloody road you will acknowledge that an encroachment of even half a meter can be fatal on that road and what’s half a meter for a 30tonne rig?

      • ik

        Chamunorwa road rinemaPotholes iri I almost lost my life imomunaApril ndakarova pothole mavhiri ose aritwo akapinda imomo akafa ose luckily there was no oncoming vehicle

  • tinashe

    minister obert mhofu this is your area

    • muromo

      ah Obert haana kana basa nevanhu uya. no one cares, the government is useless. They are all useless. Dai vakamuka vakafa vese.

      • Achimwene

        You can say that again. Mhofu Havana basa nevanhu. he is only concerned with raising money for ministers luxurious living through tollgates. I am starting to think some of these guys have a satanic spirit in them that enjoys loss of life. If there was anything in them that cared for human life then they would have prioritised this highway ahead of the top of the range cars they buy for themselves time and again. if possible, they could at least spare some money from “their”diamond money that has not benefited anyone else but themselves.

  • sam mtombeni

    Terrible site and sorry to the relatives and the nation for the loss of life. Can the powers that be please do something about this Beitbridge- Harare road. Its just 600 km to start with.
    And why is the reporter saying its a UD truck when its clearly written Hino. ?Its not fair to Nissan Ud and just report as correct and factual as possible…..its a Hino Truck

  • Stanford

    RIP to those that died. I am reall surprised because it seems the accident happened in bush. Is that what you call a road? No wonder why we lose lives!

  • Dombodema

    A public transport driver choosing to travel in the dead of the night and then meeting a trucker encroaching into someone’s lane is too coincidental to be an accident.
    Its smacks of corruption.
    Corruption does not just happen. People consciously make corrupt choices.
    Corruption is not just bad. Its sinful, but I have no doubt that whoever is found to have caused the deaths is/was a sworn Christian.
    The wages of corruption is death, directly or indirectly.

  • Gorrilla

    And they are saying Masvingo Beitbridge is not a priority. This road needs to redone asap. Toll fees for the busy road are being used to redo non busy roads. Please patariseio apa minister Mpofu.

    • majetsha


  • Beastie!

    If the morons in the then MDC which has now split into 3 MDCs had not invited the sanctions that have devastated the economy then the government would have dualised the roads. If the government had dualised the roads then mostly likely many accidents would have been averted.

    • Phato Sthole

      Oooh come on man! This has nothing to do with the MDC or whoever. How many successive budgets have we had from day one and what have we, if any ever put towards infrastructure development and actually gone ahead and apply the money to that? All the major projects we have ever had in this country have either been government to government projects or donor driven projects. Ko yedu mari? I don’t want to point fingures or anything but sometimes calling a spade a spade will help us confront our problems for what they are, maybe we can actually start working towards resolving them. Ikozvino mvura inongonaya ichienda kuMozambique and into the oceans and seas beyond but we have no irrigation infrastructure to talk about. One drought year and we are stuffed nice and proper! With the changing seasons and rainfall patterns, when have you ever heard our leaders both ruling and in opposition talk about that and what contingency measures we need to ensure that we mitigate the impact of droughts? Besides, ma sanctions handiti ndeazuro uno-uno?

    • kutototo

      Here we go again, politics, politics and more politics. Looking for someone to blame and it cannot be us but MDC. With this mindset we are doomed.

  • mugopower

    Can someone do something about this road?

  • ismith

    In our country only one person’s life is worth living. We voted for this government in a free and fair elections and this what we are getting. MAY THEIR SOULS REST IN PEACE.

    • Wezhira

      It is time all people using this road start a sustained campaign to have something done. The Harare-Beitbridge road has just turned into killer strip. Why are less busy roads prioritised at the expense of this one? How long will it take and how many more lives would have to be lost before something is done vana veZimbabwe?

  • Stanford

    What is on top of the Nissan UD truck? It appears to be carrying poles that could also endanger other motorists or even cause the driver to lse control. Worried has just questioned the effectiveness of police officers on the road. Could this Nissan truck have bribed the police?

  • shumba

    instead of calling for a hospital to be built along that stretch of road how about they re do that stretch of road between masvingo to beit bridge. If the roads are wider and in better state (cats eyes) less accidents will occur.

  • toperatakatarisa

    nhai vaBhasikiti?chinotanga kugadzirwa ihospital here kana kuti road? I think we should prioritise dualising the masvingo beitbridge highway before we can start talking about the construction of a hospital. First things first, had someone not been selfish enough years ago, dai road iyoyi yakanaka coz kana chikwereti tingadai takapedza kubhadhara manje through toll gates, asi nhasi tarirai muone, zvinoita kuisa ma visionless leaders, vanhu vari kufa seshwa nekuti pane munhu somewhere aiva daft not to foresee the long term benefits of investing mukugadzirwa kwemugwagwa. Cry my beloved Zimbabwe.

  • Ginoni

    there is a group of sick guys (ZimHighways) who promised to dualise this road a long time ago.Where are they?They are to blame. Shame on you guys.

  • zvenyika

    Cde Mpofu set your priorities right, This killer strip needs urgent attention, why not say the amount generated on tolls on a certain highway are allocated to that highway. Its unfair to be paying toll fees on this road since hameno and the money is used to service roads i have never set my tryes on. Pafungei ipapo.

  • Rurururu

    iiii so painful…..Mwari nyaradzai vanhu venyu.

    On another note, pliz Zimbos, lets not board these kombis on long distances, masprinter agara anomhanya, i would prefer to board a bus tho it takes time to load but buses are more safer than kombis. Tinoda hedu kukasika kusvika asi pamwe pacho hatizosviki chaiko kwatinenge tichienda. Uye kana kombi yatotaridza kuti yaita problem ngatisakwira, mazuvano transport yazara unokwira imwe pane ku riska life. Kungoyambiranawo.

  • mandeya

    tollgate fees should meet funeral expenses for all deceased in this accident,WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE NATIONAL DISASTER FUND

  • Pasichigare

    Yet again, the Zimbabwean public wakes to another accident along the same road. My question is, what exactly has the government really done in order to curb such disasters? The highway is no-longer properly marked (hell half the journey you are wondering if u r in your lane or straddling it). Whilst dualisation is a viable option, unfortunately it takes far to long for Zimbabweans to keep loosing their relatives like this. The government has to issues directives about night movement with immediate effect until a more long-lasting solution is found. Yes the country may loose a lot of revenue (at national and family levels) but simply cautioning drivers to excersise caution seems not to be working. AND GOVERNMENT ALSO NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE DONKEYS AND GOATS IN AREAS ALONG THIS ROAD.

  • Vezhira Vapedzwa Nemigwagwa

    The minister wants government to build hospitals close to the highways really????? Why not just dualize the highway, everyone knows that the road is too narrow and that is the reason why so many helpless Zimbabweans are dying on that highway day in day out

  • wezhira wezheve

    just google Zimbabwe traffic accidents victims, you will find them

  • mandeya

    govt should use part of tollgate fees to assist relatives of the deceased,the national disaster fund went into oblivion,why? tollgate fees can be used to resuscitate the fund