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Traffic Watchdog Urges Caution on Zimbabwe Roads

Zimbabwe Police Accident

The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) urged motorists on Tuesday to drive with caution, as police reported 31 people had been killed in traffic accidents since the beginning of the festive season.

Masvingo Province is leading in the number of fatalities, with 10 deaths recorded as of Monday, followed by Matabeleland South with seven, a police spokesman said.

Mashonaland East comes third with four deaths; the capital city, Harare, has recorded three while Bulawayo, the second largest city has suffered two loses.

“It is regrettable that every year we have the same story where so many lives are lost, especially during the festive season,” said TSCZ director Obio Chinyere.

“This is the time when everyone should be enjoying. But alas, it becomes the time when we experience carnage on our roads.”

Chinyere added that human error is the primary cause of all road crashes in Zimbabwe.

“When you look at the statistics, 85 percent of the accidents are due to human error. Of course our roads are bad, but the human factor is the main cause,” he commented.

Police say a total of 515 crashes have been recorded across the country so far compared to 470 during the same period last year.

Transport Minister Obert Mpofu has vowed stern action against traffic offenders, adding public transporters who breach regulations risked losing their licenses.

Zimbabwe’s road infrastructure has suffered heavy damage in the past decade or so, with the cash-strapped government failing to upgrade and mordenize city networks and inter-city highways.

Its ambitious dualization of all major roads is currently underway, and officials say work on the Plumtree-Harare-Mutare highway at an advanced stage.