Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Shock rise in road traffic accidents

By Paidamoyo Chipunza

Road traffic accidents went up by over 100 000 last year, while the number of deaths increased by 75 percent despite heavy police presence on the country’s major roads, recent statistics from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) reveal.

File picture of an Inter Africa bus involved in an accident
File picture of an Inter Africa bus involved in an accident

Government in March reduced the number of police roadblocks following complaints from motorists, the public and tourists.

In its 2017 First Quarter digest statistics, Zimstat said road traffic accidents increased nearly four times from 45 701 in 2015 to 159 490 in 2016.

This resulted in an increase in the number of fatalities from 2 368 in 2014 to 9 301 in 2016.

A total of 44 917 people got injured during 2016, up from 12 399 in 2014.

The report further showed that between January and March this year, 319 people died in over 11 000 accidents recorded.

In April this year, a South Africa-bound Proliner bus left 21 people burnt beyond recognition after it side-swiped a haulage truck in Mvuma before catching fire.

Last month, a Lusaka-bound King Lion bus left 45 dead after it veered off the road and ploughed into a tree along the Harare-Chirundu Highway.

According to eyewitnesses, the bus had 76 passengers instead of 69 and was speeding.

Road accident investigators claim that accidents in Zimbabwe are caused by vehicle defects, speeding, animals, following too close to another vehicle, driver fatigue (inattention, misjudgement and distraction), failure to give way and turning in front of oncoming traffic.

However, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Obedingwa Mguni said police have been doing their work “but can only work to certain levels in preventing accidents”.

“Police cannot stop accidents. It is the duty of the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) to check a vehicle’s fitness and road worthiness otherwise police would have done their part,” said Deputy Minister Mguni.

Deputy Minister Mguni urged motorists and the public at large to be responsible and report any road traffic offence, particularly now that Government has reduced the number of roadblocks on the country’s roads.

“The problem that comes with reducing roadblocks is that motorists become complacent to observing traffic regulations. People must know that the police are on the roads to enforce the law,” he said.

He said reducing the number of roadblocks, therefore does not mean people should stop being responsible.

“The day we withdrew some details on the roads, there was a horrific accident on the Mutare highway and just today I saw a taxi driving in the opposite direction, which is a clear indication of reckless driving,” said Deputy Minister Mnguni.

According to the same Zimstat report, the number of road traffic crimes has also been on the increase with 445 people fined for reckless driving in 2016 up from 266 in 2013.

A total of 128 cases have already been recorded between January and March this year for reckless driving.

The number of negligent driving cases have also been increasing from 2 979 in 2013 to 6 312 in 2016.

A total of 1 733 cases of negligent driving have been recorded in the first quarter of 2017.

However, cases of other criminal activities such as robberies, armed robbery, and possession and selling of dangerous drugs have been going down.

According to the report, cases of people caught in possession of dangerous drugs have gone down from a high of 3 462 in 2013 to 236 in 2016.

Thirty-five people have so far been arrested for possessing dangerous drugs between January and March this year.

The report further showed a decline in the number of people caught supplying these dangerous drugs from 292 in 2013 down to eight in 2016 and since the beginning of the year, only two people were arrested for selling dangerous drugs.

On robberies, the report showed a decline in recorded cases from 6 925 cases in 2013 to 2 583 in 2016.

Armed robberies also declined from 554 cases in 2013 down to 214 in 2016.

“The figures given are crimes reported to the police for the periods shown. They are national total derived from reports from all stations,” reads the Zimstat report. The Herald

  • They need to fix the roads.

  • hanzi despite heavy police presence on thr country’s major roads……they are there for bribals not to control accidents.all they want is money to put in their pockets

  • dhege

    Paidamoyo, your stats are very wrong, or the Zimstat doc is very wrong, I did a critical analysis of the 2016 road traffic crashes myself and can reveal that:
    Since the beginning of the
    year, 2016, thirty-eight thousand six hundred and twenty (38,620)
    road traffic collisions were recorded across the country. Out of these, one thousand two hundred and
    ninety-one (1,291)
    were fatal. Comparatively, in 2015 a total of forty-one thousand four hundred
    and ninety-four (41,494) were
    recorded and one thousand three hundred and ten (1,310) of them were fatal. It is apparent that during the year
    under review, road traffic crashes decreased by seven (7) percent as compared with the previous year. Similarly, fatal
    road crashes also decreased by 1%
    this year compared with 2015. Consequently, one thousand seven hundred and
    twenty-one (1,721) people were
    killed in 2016 compared to one thousand seven hundred and sixty-two (1,762) in 2015, translating to a 2% decrease. A total of eleven thousand three hundred and seventy-nine
    (11, 379) people were injured in road
    related crashes this year (2016) compared to twelve thousand eight hundred and
    twenty-two (12, 822) that
    were injured in 2015, an 11% decrease.

    Please stop misleading the nation. You can connect with me for more 0772966075!

  • the only true story frm Nehannda Radio

  • It does not need police presence to curb road accidents but a good road network and discipline from drivers through proper enforcement of road regulations and proper rule of law.

  • Mapurisa ndiwo arikukonzeresa ngavabve paroad

  • Those are fundraisers

  • Those are fundraisers

  • with all those roadblocks one wonders

  • Allaz

    MANDATORY TRACKING! I was in a mushikashika the other day. There is this “co-operative” of mushikashika in Bulawayo who seem to operate with the police/city council’s blessing. Mostly Honda Fit, with some Toyota Ipsums and Gaias. The driver was chatting to one of the passengers about how they had just gotten satellite tracking installed in their vehicles. He said that he now can’t go above 80km or he will have to answer for it with his bosses – and if his car is seen wandering off the set route, he can even get a call from the boss asking whats going on. There are many tracking companies ALREADY OPERATING IN ZIM. I counted at least five from a quick Google search, one is even run by government’s own Net-One. Make it mandatory that all bus operators must have some tracking system installed and working on their busses as a pre-requisite for getting a route permit and then work out who exactly will do the monitoring, penalties etc. But the point is there is already a powerful tool existing which could save so many lives but we still just wanna talk and do marches/parades. If a mushikadshika can afford it, what more a cross-country bus.

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