Yet Another Bus Accident Kills 6 In Manicaland, Zimbabwe

Bus accidents, such as the one pictured here, which claimed more than 40 lives in Zimbabwe recently, are on the increase. Yesterday, another bus slammed into a mountain in Nyanga, in Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands, killing six people and injuring scores of others.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 03 September 2009

Six people died when a Takrose bus slammed into the side of a mountain in Zimbabwe's picturesque eastern town of Nyanga.

42 other people are reported to have been injured, four of them critically.

The accident happened at the same spot as one of the worst bus disaster in Zimbabwe's history, the Nyanga Bus Disaster, which happened in the eighties.

Police last night said the accident was caused by the driver, who was speeding.

A spokesman said, because the driver was speeding, he failed to negotiate a sharp curve at the 32 km peg along the Nyanga-Nyamaropa Road.

Only last week, Prime Minister Tsvangirai, addressing a conference called by the owners and operators of long-distance transport, lamented the state of Zimbabwean roads and reaction times from emergency staff.

At the same conference, a ZANU PF minister, Nicholas Goche of Transport and Communications, blamed police corruption for the continued carnage on our roads.

I also reported last week on another accident along the Murehwa Road when a driver, egged on by his employer who was a passenger in the bus, tried to overtake a rival bus he was racing with and hit an oncoming State bus head on.

He tried to escape by jumping out of the bus but was crushed by it when it toppled over him. He was the only fatality in that accident.

As of last night, the police were still holding on to the names of those killed because their relatives have not been informed, as is the customary practise with Zimbabwean law enforcement.

Although Zimbabwe's public transport laws require drivers to have a Defensive Driving Certificate, in these hard times when incomes are shrinking, speeding has become the norm, so that the driver, who is normally paid on commission, can not only pick up more people ahead of his rivals, but also make more trips in a day.

The state of Zimbabwe's potholed highways and byways, of course, makes this even more dangerous.

Still, there is no hope that this is going to change any time soon.

The money that is being collected from tollgates is already being channelled straight to the government, and it will certainly go into the general kitty to help pay salaries and expenses instead of attending to the repair of the roads.

Donors remain on the sidelines, unwilling to throw pearls before swine, as they see how wasteful this government of national disunity is proving to be.

There will, therefore, be more accidents like this one.


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