The bus accident that claimed 35 people in Chimanimani has been declared a state of disaster with the deceased set to get State assisted funeral.
Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said in terms of Section 27, Subsection (1) of the Civil Protection Act, Chapter 10.06 of 1989, President Mnangagwa has declared a State of Disaster regarding the road traffic accident to enable the State to meet the medical bills of the injured and render funeral assistance to the bereaved families.
“It has been reported that, the bus from St Charles High School was carrying 107, ZCC congregants from Chimanimani, fell into a valley in the Matariana area near Jopa, Chimanimani. The cause of the accident is still being ascertained.
“Thirty-two (32) people died on the spot while 75 others were injured. Of the 75 passengers taken to hospital, three (3) died on admission at Victoria Chitepo Hospital, bringing the total number of deceased persons to 35,” he said.
Minister Moyo said he received with heartfelt grief the loss of 35 fellow citizens who succumbed due to this bus accident which occurred near Jopa in Chimanimani around midnight on 14 April 2022.
“On behalf of the Nation, and on my own behalf, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. As provided in the above piece of legislation, the Government of Zimbabwe will meet the burial costs of all the deceased and provide medical assistance for the injured.
“As we express our deepest condolences to the bereaved families, we also wish a speedy recovery to those receiving treatment. Family members of the three (3) deceased persons at Chipinge hospital will be contacted and advised to collect the bodies of the deceased,” he said.
Minister Moyo said a Command Centre has been established at Victoria Chitepo Hospital where bodies of the deceased persons are being collected and psychosocial support for the bereaved families is being provided.
He said members of the public may contact the following individuals for any information about the disaster Acting Chief Director Civil Protection, Mr N. Nkomo on 0773 005 477, Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Manicaland Province, Mr Edgar Seenza on 0772 521 903 and MP for Chimanimani East Constituency Joshua Sacco on 0712 862 283.
“I would like to implore all public transport operators to always exercise a high degree of caution and care on the roads. It is disheartening to note that the bus was overloaded hence putting the lives of passengers at risk.
“Law enforcement agencies and responsible authorities will ensure that stringent measures are taken to deal with errant drivers along major highways. Culprits will face the full wrath of the law,” said Minister Moyo.
He urged passengers to contribute towards their safety and prevent the speeding of drivers.
“Again let me emphasize that the COVID 19 is still upon us, I urge all citizens to adhering to World Health Organisation regulations.
“As we count our losses and mourn the deceased, it is my sincere hope that this will be a wake-up call and serve as an opportunity for all of us to fulfil a collective responsibility towards the safety of all travellers,” said Minister Moyo.