Victor Maphosa Mash East Bureau
Residents of Marondera have appealed to the authorities, particularly the police, to ensure that all mushikashika vehicles are banned from operating with immediate effect.
The appeal comes after a fatal road accident on Monday this week involving two mushikashika vehicles in which two pupils were killed and 16 others were seriously injured.
The deceased are Akisha Madziwa (6) and Ashy James (13) from Yellow City in Marondera.
Police spokesperson for Mashonaland East Province Inspector Simon Chazovachiyi said the two died on the spot after suffering head injuries.
“The two succumbed to head injuries and they died on spot. The other 16 are admitted at Marondera Hospital while bodies of the deceased are in a mortuary at the same hospital waiting for postmortem.”
He said investigations were in progress to establish on how many passengers were in each vehicle after 16 people were injured.
Inspector Simon Chazovachiyi added that the police were also interested in knowing if the drivers had valid driver’s licences.
The chairperson of the Marondera Residents Association, Mr Tapiwa Chengeta, urged the police to enforce the laws and ban mushikashika vehicles from operating.
“As an organisation we are really saddened by the accident which has claimed young and innocent souls. From our sources it is human error which caused this accident, and such errors could have been avoided.
“We call upon the police to enforce the laws so that unregistered vehicles are not allowed to carry people, especially schoolchildren.
“This brings to the fore the problem that we have always had of the unruly way in which drivers of small vehicles drive around the town. Laws should be enforced to ban such mushikashikas from pirating,” Mr Chengeta said.
Allegations are that the driver of a Honda Fit vehicle operating as a mushikashika was driving from town and encroached into the lane of oncoming traffic, resulting in a head-on collision with another Honda Fit vehicle carrying schoolchildren.
When The Herald arrived at the accident scene, bodies of the deceased and the injured had already been ferried to Marondera hospital.
Eyewitnesses who declined to be named said authorities should ensure that mushikashika vehicles are banned.
“I live near the accident scene and I am one of the people who arrived here first to assist the injured. The driver of this other Honda Fit from town was speeding and he encroached into the lane of the other Honda Fit going in the opposite direction. We heard a loud noise and desperate screams from passengers. Both vehicles I believe, are mushikashikas.
“I still remember that mushikashikas were banned, but we see them on the roads every day. Why are they allowed to continue putting us and our children in danger? We want them off our roads.”
Another witness who chose to remain anonymous said he could not hide his tears witnessing school children in pain.
“These mushikashikas should be banned at all costs. We need ZUPCO buses or kombis,” he said.