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Zimbabwe Road Accident Claims 19 Lives in Second Major Crash This Month

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

A survivor of the multiple-vehicle crash told Zimbabwean state radio that the driver of the Chawasarira bus which first went out of control was speeding and ignored his passengers who had urged him to slow down

An accident Thursday on the highway linking Zimbabwe's capital, Harare and the second city, Bulawayo, involving two buses and a haulage truck claimed 19 lives, reports said.

A vehicle operated by the Chawasarira Bus Company headed for Chivi, Midlands province, burst a front tire and sideswiped a haulage truck going in the opposite direction before flipping over, killing 18 people on the spot.

The driver of a bus traveling behind the wrecked bus tried to avoid it but lost control, and the second bus also overturned, killing one person aboard.

A survivor told state radio that the driver of the Chawasarira bus was speeding and ignored his passengers who had urged him to slow down.

VOA was unable to reach any spokesman for the Zimbabwe Republic Police to obtain an official statement on the crash.

Fourteen people died in an omnibus crash on August 3, and that road tragedy closely followed another long-distance bus crash which claimed 19 lives.

Many blame poor roads for the highway carnage though police officials say driver error is often a cause and have launched a national road safety campaign.

Lawmaker Albert Mhlanga, a member of Parliament's committee on transport and infrastructure development, said government has asked a Chinese firm for estimates on the cost of upgrading the country's major highways, in particular the roads connecting Harare with Bulawayo in the west and Beitbridge, on the South African border.

Meanwhile, some Zimbabwean motorists have welcomed the road safety awareness campaign launched in the wake of a spate of fatal crashes in Centenary and Nyazura, but reporter Arthur Chigoriwa found many skeptical about its impact.

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