New measures to curb road carnage
Wallace Ruzvidzo and Fungai Lupande
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday led the monthly clean-up campaign in Beatrice where he urged the nation to maintain clean environments to keep diseases at bay.
And in the wake of a horror crash that claimed four lives of school-going children in the area on Wednesday, VP Chiwenga said there were plans to re-test drivers and re-examine vehicles before they were allowed on the country’s roads to curb road carnage.
Zimbabwe has been recording a number of fatal road accidents of late, mainly due to negligence by drivers and unroadworthy vehicles.
Yesterday, VP Chiwenga visited the accident scene where four school children died while 18 people, mostly learners were injured, in a road accident along the Harare-Masvingo highway on Wednesday.
The accident involved an Inter Africa bus carrying 59 passengers and a T35 truck that was carrying Karrenboon Primary School children.
The injured are being treated at Beatrice and Chitungwiza hospitals.
VP Chiwenga met some of the children who were injured during the accident, and directed that they be taken to Chitungwiza Central Hospital for further treatment and examination.
Addressing hundreds of people at a clean-up campaign in Beatrice yesterday, VP Chiwenga said Government would foot the medical bills for the injured pupils.
“What happened touched the Government and the nation at large, and yesterday (Thursday) while we were standing in for President Mnangagwa who is currently in Malawi (the President returned last night), we gave our condolence message to the families who lost their loved ones,” he said.
“We also said that all those who were being treated here in Beatrice be transported to Chitungwiza where the others are, so that the Government assists them.
“We are going to inform the President that some of the cars and drivers should be examined to see if they are fit to be on the road. They must go for driving tests again because the number of accidents in this country is quite devastating; the carnage cannot be accepted, it must be stopped.”
VP Chiwenga said the Government would build a new school in the Beatrice area, to minimise distances travelled by children to school, and in turn, curb accidents involving learners.
“We asked the head and she said there were children who were walking long distances to go to school, so we asked if there was land for us to build a school so that the children do not have to walk long distances and she said the land was there,” he said.
“So we are going to consult the relevant Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education so that the new school is built and accidents are minimised. We cannot keep on losing young lives like this.”
VP Chiwenga reiterated President Mnangagwa’s call for peace before, during and after the harmonised elections.
“President Mnangagwa recently announced the date for this year’s election which will be held on August 23 this year,” he said. “Our leader said that he does not want violence during the election period, before, during and after the elections. No forms of violence will be condoned.
“President Mnangagwa wishes that we all register to vote and ensure the party (Zanu PF)’s resounding victory.”
VP Chiwenga implored citizens to keep their environments clean and desist from littering to curb diseases.
This month’s national clean-up campaign focuses on recycling plastic waste to reduce the burden on local authorities in waste collection.
In Mashonaland Central, the clean-up was done at Gweshe Business Centre in Chiweshe, where Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Monica Mavhunga led the proceedings.
She said upscaling the recycling sector was key to reducing the accumulation of waste in the environment.
“Gweshe Business Centre is expanding and I urge the local authority to lure recycling investors,” she said. “This business centre links with various areas of economic and tourism importance in Muzarabani, thus the need to set up world-class infrastructure to complement this cause.”
Minister Mavhunga called for peace and unity during the election campaign.
She rallied all party members, outgoing and incoming Members of Parliament to join hands and mobilise five million votes for President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF.
Acting provincial environmental manager, Mrs Ericah Uzanda, applauded the Gweshe community for being proactive in maintaining and cleaning the environment.
“I am pleased to note that the business community actively participated in the clean-up, unlike other communities that watch from a distance,” she said.
Mazowe Central Zanu PF National Assembly candidate Cde Maxmore Njanji said the clean-up campaigns were a testimony of the Second Republic’s commitment to ensure no place and no one was left behind.
As the country journeys towards an upper middle-income economy by 2030, a clean and safe environment was a priority, he said.
Turning to elections, Cde Njanji said primary elections were now gone and everyone needs to work to achieve five million votes for the President.
“In Mazowe we have set up a campaign committee because we are united for a common cause. Zanu PF is a peaceful party and we shun violence as elections draw closer. The works done by the Second Republic market the party and victory is certain,” he said.