By Takudzwa Mahove
Motorists and residents in the Great Dyke that use the now notorious Masvingo – Mbalabala Highway say driver error and vehicle roadworthiness is to blame for most if not all of the accidents on the road which is in quite a good state.
23 people lost their lives on Monday afternoon when a Toyota Granvia was heading west towards Zvishavane burst a tyre and encroached into the opposite lane colliding with a Toyota Wish heading east towards Masvingo.
Zvishavane Resident Mr Tafara Mbaya who arrived at the scene of the accident minutes after it occurred said the road is in a good state and cannot be blamed for the many accidents that have occurred in recent months.
He highlighted that human error, vehicle roadworthiness and overloading may be the major cause of the carnage now associated with the road.
Residents that spoke to Great Dyke News 24 at the Toyota Wish’s departure point (Masvingo Bus stop) called on authorities to act and stop the pirate taxis which usually overload and travel at high speeds.
Monday’s accident was the second fatal accident in a week following another which claimed the lives of five members of the same family – the vehicle they were travelling in rammed into a stationary truck near Neta Business centre Mberengwa.
The two are the latest in a series of accidents over a 6 month period, in April two children died after being hit by a vehicle while on their way from school. – Phillip Dube (21) of Izaya Park in Zvishavane was driving a Toyota Fun cargo motor vehicle with no passengers and on approaching the 94 km peg; he attempted to overtake another vehicle which was in front. In the process he struck two children who were on their way from school, Tinotenda Anderson and Definite Chikava both aged 11 years.
They both sustained head injuries and were rushed to Zvishavane District Hospital where they were pronounced dead upon arrival
In May two people lost their lives while four sustained severe injuries when a Toyota Dyna they were travelling in sideswiped with an Inter Africa bus and overturned at the 204km peg along Masvingo-Mbalabala Road.
The Toyota Dyna was enroute to Mbalabala from Zvishavane with 10 passengers on board.