The death toll of people who died during the Easter Holiday rose to 24 on Sunday night after 11 people perished on the spot in a fatal head-on collision at the 118km peg along Harare-Mutare highway in Macheke near Headlands.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI/ JAIROS SAUNYAMA
National Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the accident in a Press release yesterday afternoon.
He said an overtaking error resulted in the head-on collision while side swipes continued to claim lives on the country’s roads.
He said a vehicle carrying 22 members of an Apostolic faith sect who were coming from a church gathering in Basil Bridge in Marange, collided with a Honda fit, which had four occupants who died on the spot while seven members from the apostolic church died.
“Overtaking errors resulting head on collision and side swipes continue to claim lives on the roads as evidenced on Sunday 21, April, 2019 at about 2330 hours when 11 people perished in a fatal head-on collision at the 118km peg along the Harare-Mutare Road opposite the Grain Marketing Board, Macheke on the way to Headlands,” said Nyathi in a Press release.
“A Nissan Caravan with 22 passengers on board (members of the Apostolic Church, who were coming from a church in Marange) collided with a Honda fit, which had four occupants,’’ he said.
“Preliminary investigations have established that the Honda Fit was heading towards Mutare, while the Nissan Caravan was travelling in the opposite direction, on approaching the 118km peg, the driver of the Honda Fit encroached into the lane of the oncoming Nissan Caravan, while intending to overtake another vehicle resulting in the head-on collision,” he said.
“All the four occupants in the Honda Fit died on the spot, while the Nissan Caravan overturned once and landed on its roof with seven people dying on the spot, while 16 people were seriously injured and were referred to Marondera Hospital for treatment,” he added.
He added that the bodies of victims were taken to Rusape district hospital for post-mortem.
The 16 injured were rushed to Marondera Provincial Hospital where they were admitted. The apostolic sect members were travelling to Uzumba-Maramba Pfungwe on their way from the Easter gathering in Mutare.
Uzumba legislator Simbaneuta Mudarikwa and Maramba-Pfungwe Member of Parliament Tichaona Karumazondo yesterday visited the injured worshippers at Marondera Hospital where they appealed for assistance from government through declaring it a national disaster.
The Headlands accident follows that of another one in Wedza where 14 members of the Mugodhi Apostolic Sect died after a lorry veered off the road and hit the members who were standing along the road close to their shrine. Six sect members died on the spot, while eight others died upon admission at Mount St Mary’s Hospital in Wedza.