Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has urged the Ministry of Health and Child Care to provide decent transport for its workers on duty to avoid tragedies like the one that claimed 21 lives in Tsholotsho on Saturday. The President said ferrying 76 people in a lorry was dangerous and the practice must immediately stop. He said the ministry must hire buses when the need arises to avoid such incidents. Addressing journalists while receiving a donation of $58 400 for the Tsholotsho accident’s bereaved families, President Mnangagwa urged drivers to be careful on the roads to save life.
“As the Minister of Home Affairs has rightly said, we should implore our drivers to exercise extreme caution on the roads. But in particular, these people were in a lorry. That is not the proper mode of transport for transporting such a number of people. Ferrying 76 people in a lorry? I was talking to the Minister of Health and Child Care that in future we should not allow this to happen. We should hire buses,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa immediately declared the accident a state of disaster. Yesterday the corporate world donated $58 400 to the President’s Fund towards assisting the bereaved families. Lotteries and Gaming Industry handed over $8 400 to the President and pledged to cover all the hospital expenses associated with the accident.
Other undisclosed companies handed over a cheque of $50 000. President Mnangagwa expressed gratitude for the good gesture by the corporate world. “We have received a total of $58 400 from the corporate world today only. We are grateful that you have done this gesture. It speaks volumes about humanity. It is not only families of the victims who have been bereaved. It shows that we have all been bereaved as a family,” said President Mnangagwa.
Lotteries and Gaming Industry chief executive Mr Heavens Gonga said his organisation was touched by the accident. “Lotteries and Gaming Industry is very concerned by this loss and we will do everything possible to support the funerals. All hospital bills will be settled,” he said.
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing July Moyo said Government had already set aside $1 000 for each of the bereaved families but it was not enough to cover all the expenses. He said his ministry would ensure the funds were disbursed to the beneficiaries in time.
“We will ensure that the money gets to the bereaved families very quickly so that it will be useful at the funerals,” he said.
Home Affairs and Culture Minister Obert Mpofu hailed the companies that donated the money and urged the others to follow suit. “The extension of monies to the bereaved is necessary relief that such disasters should be accorded. In this respect, I urge the corporate sector to rise and be counted in such critical social responsibility issues,” said Minister Mpofu.
Minister Mpofu emphasised the need for drivers to exercise caution on the roads.