President blames poor transport for Tsholotsho crash

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.

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  • haiwawo

    37 years murimo muparliament activelyand stridently participating in ruining the nation and the infrastructure, nhasi wochitaura izvi.

    Shame on him.

    • Taka Kumaka

      Blame Parirenyatwa ndiye munhu akatovata zvake pabasa.Kutadza kuziva maABC of health and safety.Ndidoctor here zve sure blaz uya?

    • Haranga

      Spot on. It’ is the 37 year legacy that has directly led to this accident.

  • #Safedriving

    The drivers are also overworked and not given enough time to rest especially in the Ministry of Health.

  • reggie

    Fix the roads Mr President

  • Chamunorwa

    With respect, the punishment for negligent driving is exceptionally weak. Stern jail terms for dangerous or negligent driving and bans from driving should be the order of course.

  • eliah

    The accident from preliminary reports was caused by human error but the President is right, other forms of transport must be used as opposed to ferrying workers in lorries which is a common practise in both government and private sector in this country.

  • cynthia

    But it wasn’t poor transport that was the root cause.

    It was clearly said, and covered here, that driver negligence was to blame.

    He was drunk and speeding, despite pleadings of the passengers. He MUST GET THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE SENTENCE for EACH COUNT of culpable homicide.

    People drink and drive. Weekends especially. Bottles beside the seat in plain sight. It is a “acceptable norm”.

    • Mela

      besides he is still right. A truck is not at all the best safe way to travel. there is absolutely no protection at all

  • Obert

    I am sorry, but I disagree, it was the drunk driver who was to blame. Not the fault of antone else, the victims contributed by getting onto a vehicle driven by someone who had been drinking too much, ie. someone who had had even one drink.

    • zimbotry

      Why is it ok to put 76 people on a lorry anyway? Yes the driver is probably to blame but those people should not have been in this situation to start with

    • Mela

      why should we forget that being stuck in a lorry with no safety at all is not a contribution. Lorries are not for human commutting. This practice needs to stop, even muma pickup trucks. anything happens, hard braking, cornering,over turning, there is a very high chance of casualty.

  • Worried Citizen

    I salute your reaction President. Vanhu vangatakurwa muLorry shuwa, lorry inemishonga inouraya, apo Min of Health ndiyo yatinotarisira mberi panyaya dzeHealth and Safey. iiii ndatya nazvo.

  • yowe

    He is very right …How could they be using a lorry

    • masvukupete

      Ndo zviripo ka!

      In developed countries even Pick up chaiyo hauni munhu ku kabati!! They even have buses that are powered by electricity, the power we as Zimboz should be using in excess cause of the abundant coal reserves. But nooooo we would rather be using imported liquid fuels ONLY for our transport coz you guessed it, the ministers have the licences to import fuel or get something from the importation.

      A country like Zimbabwe should be using transport powered by electricity for 80% of all transport, (targeted 100% of urban transport by 2015 i.e 35 years after independence)!

      Those who are supposed to lead in infrastructure development are not doing their jobs i.e. Govt and ED is one of them!!!

  • Trex1

    While the Minister of Health blames the driver…

  • Madara

    yeah although it was the fault of many parties and could have been avoided in many different ways a good way to prevent accidents of any form would be to have drivable roads.

  • Nesongano

    The Minister of Health must be charged with negligence if duty. How could he mix 76 people with goods like that? I have been stopped at several police roadblocks and charged with mixing goods with people.

  • Dziva

    Too hard to blame gross mismanagement hey. Pathetic.
    I said it yesterday why carring people with a lorry.

  • shiku

    Herald, poor title for your news article! The president blames poor transport for accident, well transport does not organise its self does it? There simply should be a rule which clearly state that nor government department, individual or company should transport people in a truck. The President has been in government for 37 years and he failed to introduce such law and so is to blame, not poor transport! Because of our dead opposition Zanu PF gets away with it again.

  • Nesongano

    On another note, the police through the Ministry of Home affairs must acquire breathalyser machines to test the level on drivers involved in accidents. Most accidents in this country are caused by drunken driving.

  • Zvorwadza

    Extend the ban to transport people in lorries to include ferrying people to political rallies, church gatherings, funerals, games etc. Farm workers, mine workers and school children in rural areas are especially exposed

  • bhurujena

    infrastructure development

  • Mela

    pickup trucks and lorry commuting should be banned immediately. Its really stupid people use that as a form of transport and allow it to happen. The system needs to change and people should organise proper transportation.

  • Sandura1

    Road Safety rules and licensing standards need to be revisited as a matter of priority. Stringent penalties for drink driving which must involve various fines for certain levels of intoxication including license suspensions and cancellations. Why are people allowed to drink and drive? There will be more revenue from this plus safety enhancement than the stupid road blocks. Our policing systems need to modernise. I hope our president will take time to visit or allow some of his ministers to visit Rwanda, Tanzania and Botswana to copy some of the models they use to make their systems flow.

  • zimba ngoma

    Many factors played a role in that tragedy biggest being the drunk stubborn driver we have all seen that before remember the school trips when we used to driver driver hey ye ….encouraging him to drive faster???? then cramming 76workers in a lorry like potatoes,passengers getting on the lorry knowing the driver is drunk and minister of health from not sending buses,plus the whole driving system in Zim shud be revised strict penalties imposed ppl drive with no seatbelts on bottle of lager pakati pemakumbo and they used to carry the same mentality abroad ended up getting locked up and passengers getting fined for not putting seatbelts on

  • Bambà Mski

    Parirenyatwa should be removed kunge Dokora.