By Pamela Shumba
A haulage truck driver died on the spot yesterday morning after his vehicle sideswiped with another heavy vehicle about 40km along the Bulawayo-Harare highway. The Bravo Investments truck driver was reportedly trying to avoid a herd of cattle that had strayed onto the highway when the accident occurred.
Witnesses said the truck, which was loaded with coal and travelling to Harare from Hwange encroached into the oncoming traffic lane at about 7AM.
The trailer of the other truck, which was travelling from Harare to Bulawayo and belonging to Noxtrans Pvt (Ltd) sideswiped with the Bravo Truck killing the driver instantly.
The Nox Transport truck was carrying car batteries.
When Chronicle arrived at the scene, Bravo Investments workers were trying to retrieve their trailer that had blocked the road, while motorists were using a side road to pass the scene.
The driver’s body, whose next of kin had not been informed, had been taken to the mortuary by the police.
Witnesses expressed concern over the increasing number of accidents that were caused by stray cattle and urged the government to introduce stiff penalties for cattle owners who neglect their livestock.
“It’s so unfortunate that people continue to die on the roads despite efforts by the government to make the roads safer by rehabilitating them. It seems the fight against carnage on the country’s roads is lost. These cattle have become a threat to people’s lives,” said Mandlenkosi Sibindi.
“The issue of cattle roaming the highways is a serious challenge that needs government’s intervention. For example, the government could seize cattle found on the roads and make the owners pay if they want their cattle back. This would make cattle owners more responsible and make sure their cattle do not graze along the roads.”
Another witness Edina Ndlovu concurred with Sibindi, saying farmers had become too reckless with their cattle because nothing was being done to punish them for causing accidents.
“If nothing is done about these stray cattle, it defeats the purpose of rehabilitating the roads in a bid to reduce accidents and save people’s lives.
“The government could use prisoners to take away all stray cattle and make the owners pay. This could go a long way in reducing accidents on the roads and also rake in revenue for the government,” she Ndlovu. Chronicle