Gift Phiri 12 April 2017
HARARE – The driver of a South Africa-registered haulage truck that
crashed with a bus at Nyamatikiti River near Chaka in Chirumhanzu, killing
dozens of passengers, was charged with culpable homicide in an indictment
unsealed on Friday.
The indictment contained 20 counts of vehicular homicide against Regis
Mungwari, 29, who was driving to Harare, according to court papers.
At least 20 people were killed after the haulage truck reportedly
sideswiped the bus and caught fire on Wednesday last week, with most of
the victims “burnt beyond recognition”.
The South Africa-bound bus had over 60 passengers on board, while the
truck was laden with tyres.
At least 15 passengers managed to escape through the windows, witnesses
Mungwari appeared before the Mvuma Magistrates’ Courts last Friday. He was
denied bail and taken to Whawha Remand Prison. He was remanded in custody
to April 20.
In denying him bail, the magistrate concurred with the State prosecutor
who argued Mungwari was not a proper candidate for bail considering that
he did not have a fixed address in Zimbabwe, he was employed in South
Africa and was a potential flight risk, and that he could commit suicide.
As a South African truck driver, to grant him bail, the court would be
required to legalise his residency status while he awaits trial, the court
Authorities have said he was speeding on a winding road and on approaching
the 218km peg, Mungwari allegedly encroached onto the path of the oncoming
The bus and the haulage truck sideswiped and both vehicles caught fire.
The charge of vehicular manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of up to
20 years in prison.
The officer commanding national traffic, Felistus Chikowore Mjanga and the
officer commanding Midlands Province Abigail Moyo attended to the scene of
Authorities have said that the identification process is being carried out
one family at a time, as it is a moment of intense pain it can take very
Identifying some victims was so difficult that additional DNA testing was
required, according to government pathologist Tsungai Javangwe. However,
by late yesterday, none had been formally identified.