Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Dear public transporters…we are passengers not baggage

By Ivy Nyasha Vimbai Chibanda

The number of lives that have been lost over the past months is heartbreaking. When you do not have a relative involved it’s very easy to just say aww shame, but I can’t imagine the feelings of the families that lost their breadwinners in these accidents, the children who risk failing to go to school because there’s no more fees and the mothers who do not know where their next meal will come from because the meal provider is gone. Gone because of one reckless driver who thought of  his target without thinking of the risks involved.

Last weekend, as we drove down Mutoko road, I thought there wouldn’t be speeding buses, due to the fact that there had been an accident earlier that week, you would think they would be a bit cautious, but no, they were over speeding with confidence, and to make it worse, it was at night.

It is worrying how these bus drivers do not take passengers as human but as baggage that needs to be delivered fast so as to rush back to get more. Not only are the bus drivers reckless but the combi-drivers too. Before you enter the combi, you are the boss, they will wait for you as you brush your teeth but once you get in, your value is nothing but 50cents, they hope you drop off along the way so that they get more passengers.

That’s where the problem is, the public transporters have valued our lives monetarily, all that matters is reaching the destination as soon as possible so as to have as many passengers as possible, but to who’s expense? It is sad.

Yes, the roads are bad but can we entirely put the blame on the potholes? Would it hurt so much to decrease speed where necessary and increase the speed where the road is better? What good is it when you overturn, and risk people’s lives while speeding for more few coins. Does this ever cross their mind or all that’s filled in their minds is money and nothing else?

One dreads sitting at the back seat of the combi, especially when passing through Mbare, where there are more potholes than the road, (I wonder why Mbare is always put last in terms of road maintenance), the combis speed through the pot holes and you are thrown to the roof.

Sometimes, I blame the passengers, because everyone is late, they don’t mind the driver speeding, so if you are to tell the driver that he’s speeding it would be 19 against one, but if anything is to happen, they are the first to say, he was speeding.

Drivers, as you start your key and get on the road, remember you are carrying lives and not baggage, there’s no rush, as the saying goes, it’s better to be late than be the late. Sorry will never bring back lives, and I have seen campaigns against the King Lion bus, but what good will it be if lives have already been lost. Police officers, instead of looking at whether our car seats are torn or not, why not make sure the buses and combi’s are roadworthy. Let’s not major in the minors.

Passengers, we have every right to stop the bus and get off it if we see that he has no concern whatsoever with our lives. Our lives matter.

You can follow Ivy Chibanda on her blog Ms. Resolute