By Fidelis Munyoro and Ivan Zhakata
Twenty people were killed yesterday afternoon when a Toyota Granvia burst a tyre and collided head-on with a Toyota Wish at the 61km peg along Masvingo-Zvishavane Road near Chitowa business centre just after Mhandamabwe.
Eighteen people died on the spot while two died on admission to Zvishavane District Hospital, where three seriously injured passengers are receiving treatment.
The Toyota Granvia, which was travelling from Masvingo, had a tyre burst and rammed into the Toyota Wish which was coming from Zvishavane.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the accident saying police were still to establish the number of people who were travelling in each vehicle.
This was the most fatal single road accident so far this year.
“The ZRP confirms that 20 people have died when a Toyota Granvia which was travelling from Masvingo towards Zvishavane burst a tyre and crashed into the oncoming Toyota Wish.
“The vehicles had a head-on collision at the 61km peg along Masvingo-Zvishavane near Chitowa Business Centre around 3:45pm.
“Three injured victims were taken to Zvishavane District Hospital while the bodies have been taken to Masvingo Provincial Hospital mortuary.”
Ass Comm Nyathi said police officers were still on the ground last night conducting further investigations.
“Our officers are on the ground and are trying to establish the number of people who were in each car. It is a very sad loss,” he said.
Toyota Granvia and Toyota Wish vehicles are notorious for illegally transporting passengers and are a common sight on the country’s highways.
The vehicles are usually overloaded, with Wish vehicles carrying up to 10 passengers while Granvia vans usually carry around 15 passengers.
Illegal transporters have been cashing in on the ban of inter-city buses under the enhanced Level Four Covid-19 control regulations and have been carrying passengers between cities.
On June 7 and 8, six people died while 15 others were injured in two separate incidents along the Harare-Mutare highway and the Harare-Chirundu highway.
In the first accident, two women and a boy died while nine other passengers were injured when their Toyota Hiace vehicle rolled several times before landing on its roof.
In the second accident, three people died while six were injured when a Honda Fit car side-swiped a haulage truck at the 94km peg along the Harare-Chirundu highway.
On March 5, 13 people were killed in two separate road accidents which occurred in Manicaland and Mashonaland Provinces.
In Manicaland Province, seven people — four Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) officers, two civilians and an inmate — were killed when the pick-up truck in which they were travelling collided head-on with a fuel tanker at the 67km peg along the Mutare-Nyanga Road.
Two inmates survived the fatal accident and were rushed to Bonda Mission Hospital.
In a separate incident, six people died on the spot on the 135km peg along the Harare-Mukumbura Road when a motorist lost control of his vehicle and hit a pedestrian who had just disembarked from another vehicle and five others who were reportedly walking on the road verge. The Herald