A somber atmosphere engulfed Malindi and Malila villages in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North, on Thursday morning when about nine bodies of Zimbabweans who died in a road accident in Botswana almost two weeks ago were buried in the area.
This came amid reports that one more accident victim has succumbed to injuries at Mahalapye Hospital in the neighbouring country.
Studio 7 could not verify the reports about the recent death, which could bring the death toll to 12.
Government officials and relatives of the deceased received the bodies at Plumtree Border Post overnight.
The deceased, who are aged between 24 and 35, are: Menson Ncube, Davison Sibanda, Eunice Moyo, Sharon Moyo, Liston Mlilo, Nozithelo Sibanda, Langelihle Phiri, Boniter Ncube and Methuseli Sibanda.
The other two are siblings; seven year-old Ndodana Gumbo and eight year-old Nokubonga Gumbo from Matjinge area in Bilingoma, Bulilima, in Matabeleland South.
The children’s mother and six other passengers survived the accident, which occurred when a South-African-bound truck they were travelling in hit a donkey and rammed into a tree, killing 11 people on the spot.
Tsholotsho district administrator, Nosizi Dube, reportedly said most of the victims did not have passports, which delayed the repatriation of the bodies from Mahalpye Hospital mortuary in Botswana.
Chief Gampu Sithole of Tsholotsho, who attended one of the burials and was part of the team assisting with arrangements for repatriating the bodies, said the government assisted the families with burial expenses.