Binga still traumatised by lorry crash deaths

By Whinsley Masara

For Binga’s Ward 3 councillor, Mr Phineas Ngwenya, the most difficult moment in his life was to attend the burial of 10 people in a single day following the Kamativi accident that killed 12 people three weeks ago.

The wreckage of the truck which crashed in Kamativi
The wreckage of the truck which crashed in Kamativi

A total of 130 members of the First Apostolic Faith Mission were involved in the accident while travelling in an Iveco 10-tonne truck from Binga to Hwange for a church conference.

The truck burst a tyre, veered off the road and plunged into a gorge in Kamativi resulting in the death of 11 people on the spot and another 118 people were injured.

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Many of the injured who sustained serious injuries, were rushed to different hospitals in Hwange and Bulawayo.

The villagers who lost relatives in the accident said they will remain traumatised for the rest of their lives.

The owner of the truck which ferried the congregants, Mr Ephraim Muchimba lost five family members including his brother- in- law who was driving the truck.

Mr Muchimba said he escaped death by a whisker as he was supposed to be the one driving the truck but later changed his mind.

He said he bought the truck less than a year ago.

“You can imagine a mass burial of five people in one home in one day. I lost a sister, two nephews, an uncle and a brother-in-law. My wife has since been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home,’’ said Mr Muchimba.

He said church members and Chisale villagers were still mourning following the tragedy and hoped those still in hospital will fully recover.

Mr Muchimba said on the fateful day he remained behind intending to follow later the same day as he had some errands to do.

He said he was made to believe that his truck was to ferry 65 people and was shocked to learn that it had 130 people when it was involved in the accident.

“The Lord has ways of doing some things because I could have been the driver at that time and might have died as well. We pray for those who are still hospitalised and wish them a speedy recovery,” he said.

Among the church members who died is Pastor Martin Mudimba of Kaningo village.

The pastor died at Mpilo Central Hospital where his wife and three- year- old daughter are still admitted.

Pastor Mudimba’s sister also died in the same accident, according to Clr Ngwenya.

Clr Ngwenya said burying the dead was a very traumatic experience which he will live with for the rest of his life. The Chronicle