By Ntungamili Nkomo & Blessing Zulu
Nine people were killed in a horrific accident in central Zimbabwe early on Wednesday when a bus crashed into a stationary haulage truck along the Kwekwe-Gweru highway. Police said seven passengers died on the spot while two others died on arrival at the Gweru Hospital. Eighteen people were treated for injuries.
The 75-seater bus operated by Zupco, a government company, was said to be traveling to Chipinge town, located in the southeastern part of the country. “The truck had broken down on the road and we suspect that there were no adequate warning signs of the break-down. It is also alleged that there was mist,” police spokesman Andrew Phiri told VOA.
The bus driver, who walked away with modest injuries, seemed to confirm the reports of misty conditions which affect visibility, saying he did not see the truck in time to avoid a collision. Wednesday’s accident came in the wake of two other major accidents in Wedza and Mbembesi areas, that claimed about 20 lives in the past two days.
The Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Council has recently expressed concern at the increasing number of fatalities on the country’s highways, described as death traps by experts. Professional Drivers Association chairman Albert Sibanda told VOA the poor state of the roads is to blame for the accidents that have become commonplace.
President Robert Mugabe’s motorcade has also not been spared from the crashes. One of his cars killed one person on Sunday – the third accident involving his convoy inside two weeks. VOA
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