Whinsley Masara Bulawayo Bureau
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has availed an additional $58 400 to the families of the victims of the Tsholotsho road disaster.
Home Affairs and Culture Minister Dr Obert Mpofu yesterday handed over the money to the Matabeleland North provincial Civil Protection Unit at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo.
Dr Mpofu passed his condolences to the province which lost parents, children and relatives.
“The accident occurred at a time when things were a little upside down, but we are glad the President was swift to make a decision of declaring it a state of disaster, hence the quick assistance that is being rendered through the CPU,” he said.
“$50 000 was released under the Presidential Fund in my ministry for the accident victims. Another $8 400 came from the State Lottery to assist families of the victims.”
Dr Mpofu warned families of the accident victims not to fight over the financial benefits.
He said the money was not a Christmas present, but an assistance fund for the injured and the bereaved.
“These monies should be used wisely, they are for children of the diseased members and the injured persons and therefore, they should get that full benefit,” said Dr Mpofu.
“We don’t want to hear that uncles, aunts and small houses are fighting over these monies.
“We will definitely make follow-ups to see how they were used.”
Dr Mpofu said on Thursday he held a meeting with commanders of the police force, where he urged them to reduce roadblocks and find ways of reducing road traffic accidents, as people were perishing on the country’s roads.
At least 21 members of the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s Malaria Control team died in the road accident along the Tsholotsho-Sipepa Road near Jimila Centre.
The team consisted of 69 people and the survivors suffered serious injuries.
The driver of the truck they were travelling in failed to negotiate a curve, resulting in the vehicle overturning and rolling several times.
Government had initially assisted the families of the bereaved with $21 000 to assist in the burial of their loved ones and treatment of those still admitted to hospitals.
Among senior officials that witnessed the handover of the $58 000 from President Mnangagwa were the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, Matabeleland North provincial medical director Dr Nyasha Masuka, Matabeleland North provincial administrator Mrs Latiso Dlamini.
The officials visited the accident victims admitted to the hospital.