ONE person died on the spot while 15 others were injured when a police escort vehicle leading the Presidential motorcade was involved in a head on collision with a commuter omnibus along the Robert
Mugabe Highway in Zvimba on Sunday.
Two police officers who were in the BMW were also injured.
The accident occurred about 7km from Kutama Mission and the police vehicle was heading towards Harare, while the commuter omnibus which had 22 passengers was going towards Zvimba.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the accident.
“The kombi driver tried to overtake a vehicle which was pulling off the road after seeing the escort vehicle approaching,” he said.
“This resulted in a head-on collision between the commuter omnibus and the police vehicle.”
Both vehicles were extensively damaged.
“The cause of the accident is that the kombi driver failed to take heed of the siren and the beacon lights of the escort vehicle,” Snr Asst Comm Bvudzijena said.
He said they suspect that the driver was also speeding.
“We encourage motorists to go off the road whenever they see a police vehicle or motorcycle with sirens and beacon lights,” he said.
Last week, police warned motorists against disturbing the smooth flow of the State motorcade, saying it should be accorded the respect it deserves.
The sentiments came after a pedestrian was hit by a motorbike which was part of the Presidential escort that accompanied President Mugabe to Headman Enock
Chimbamauro’s burial in Zvimba recently.
Police Protection Unit spokesperson Inspector Martin Mbokochena said the PPU, together with the national traffic police will soon carry out awareness campaigns educating motorists to respect all State motorcades. Insp Mbokochena said anyone found on the wrong side of the law will be arrested.
“Creating a traffic jungle affects movement of our leadership. It is very important as a nation to respect our leadership when passing,” he said.
“It is common knowledge that a State motorcade is not supposed to stop until it reaches its destination, but we have some unruly elements in the society who want to disturb the movement.
“It is important to know that by respecting State motorcade we also mean that motorists should respect all those who are allowed to be escorted in the form of a motorcade, it might be the President’s deputies or foreign diplomats.”
Insp Mbokochena said motorists should always be “observant” when travelling on the road.
“Always stop when it is passing and do not underrate the speed of the motorcade. Cyclist and pedestrians should also stop as they are also vulnerable to accidents,” he said.