By Andile Tshuma
A National University of Science and Technology (NUST) student died while three others are admitted to the United Bulawayo Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit after a pirate taxi they were travelling in was involved in an accident along Matopos road, just outside Bulawayo on Sunday.
The driver, Clement Lunga, was treated and discharged from hospital and has since been arrested and charged with culpable homicide.
A source said Lunga lost control of the vehicle and it veered off the road and rammed into a tree at a curve near Matopos Sailing club, about 25 kilometres from Bulawayo.
The source said the students were coming from Matopo National Park where they had gone for a reunion following the start of the new academic year last week.
The deceased has been identified as Cruz Mashingaidze, a second year Chemical Engineering student from Bulawayo’s Mpopoma suburb.
Mashingaidze’s father lives in Australia while the mother works in the United Kingdom and both are expected in the country today.
Three other students Nobukhosi Zondo, a second year journalism student and Takudzwa Mutsatsa, a second year Chemical Engineering student at Nust as well as Zandile Kudzi, a Bulawayo polytechnic student, are admitted to the ICU at UBH after sustaining serious injuries.
National University of Science and Technology Director of Information and Marketing Mr Felix Moyo confirmed the incident that killed one of the university’s students.
“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm that we lost one of our students in an accident. Death has robbed us as a university, the Bulawayo community and nation at large.
“Mashingaidze was a bright star that was set to contribute immensely to the development of the country. It is a very sad loss and we send our most sincere condolences to the family. The institution is in mourning,” he said.
Mr Moyo said the university lost a trainee engineer at a time when the nation is in dire need of such brains to spearhead development.
“Our role here is to act in loco parentis to train young innovative and useful citizens so with such a death we feel robbed of a valuable asset and member of the Nust family. We wish a speedy recovery to the survivors so that they do not miss out on most of their lectures,” he said.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the accident and said the driver of the vehicle has since been arrested and charged with culpable homicide.
“I can confirm that police attended to a road traffic accident where one person died while four others were injured and were taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals on Sunday,” said Insp Simango.
She said there were strong indications that the accident was caused by negligent driving.
Insp Simango urged members of the public to avoid boarding pirate taxis. The Chronicle