FIVE people died on the spot and 45 others were injured, some seriously, when a South Africa-bound bus veered off the road and crashed at the 129km peg along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Road.
BY REX MPHISA
The injured, including the crew of the South Africa-registered Africa Link Bus Service, were by yesterday still admitted at Neshuro District Hospital.
Mwenezi Civil Protection Unit deputy head Kenneth Madziva said, while details of the accident would best be described by police, it seemed the bus failed to negotiate a curve, and landed on its side.
“Five people, including three women and two men, were confirmed dead and 45 were injured. The injured are still admitted at Neshuro District Hospital,” he said.
Madziva said it was important to have a hospital established at Rutenga in the proximity of the busy highway leading to Beitbridge.
Neshuro Hospital is about 20km off the highway.
Some motorists who passed by said reaction by government officials and medical rescue crews was commendable.
“I have seen a serious, hardworking and committed team (ZRP Mwenezi and Ngundu, Health staff from Neshuro and Rutenga Clinic and Medicine Sans Frontiers) who did an excellent job. These people are important,” a motorist, who said he had witnessed an accident rescue operation for the first time, wrote on a social media platform.
Masvingo police provincial spokesperson Inspector Charity Mazula refused to comment on the matter.
“I will prefer to tell someone I know about the accident, I don’t know you, so I will not tell you,” she said when asked for comment yesterday.
Madziva, who is an administration officer at Mwenezi District Co-ordinator’s office, appealed to motorists to reduce speed in view of the deteriorated road conditions.
“Drivers should also reduce speed when there is limited visibility. The accident occurred at night and lives will be saved if drivers reduce speed and also exercise caution when driving along our roads, whose condition needs improvement,” he said.
Meanwhile, Beitbridge residents have appealed to the Department of Roads to attend to sections of the Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway, which have become hazardous due to potholes.
The worst part of the road is 10km south of Bubye River, where a long stretch of the road no longer has a tarred surface.
Several motorists have fallen prey to robbers at the spot, which is known to cause punctures and tyre bursts.
The edges of a 30km stretch of the road from Beitbridge have also been under the spotlight.
The rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Harare Highway, which is the main economic artery between South Africa and Zimbabwe, is long overdue.
As a result, Zimbabwe has lost valuable traffic, with Botswana now providing an alternative route to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia through Kazungula in the Caprivi Strip.