Victor Maphosa Herald Correspondent
ACTING President Constantino Chiwenga has sent his condolences to the families of Odzi bus accident victims, which claimed 16 people, along the Harare-Mutare highway on Saturday.
Fourteen passengers died on the spot while two others died in hospital when a General Bande Bus collided with a haulage truck.
In a statement, the Acting President consoled the bereaved families and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
“It was with great sense of shock and sadness that I learnt of the death on Saturday evening of 16 people in a tragic accident involving a bus and a haulage truck along the Harare-Mutare Highway.
“Life is very precious and losing it in circumstances that are avoidable is not only extremely painful and heart-breaking, but also needless and senseless.
“This latest bus accident brings to the fore Government’s call to road users, including to all those involved with public transportation, to value life always and to be mindful of the heavy responsibilities they carry on their shoulders to ensure the safety of passengers,” he said.
Acting President Chiwenga said Government will support bereaved families in their time of grief.
“On behalf of the Government, His Excellency President E.D Mnangagwa and on my own behalf, I wish to extend sincere condolences to the bereaved families for losing their beloved ones in this traffic accident.
“May they take comfort from our prayers and rest assured that Government will support them during this period of deep grief. In the same spirit, our prayers go to those nursing their injuries, both in hospital and at home, we wish them speedy recovery. May the souls of the departed rest in eternal peace,” he said.
At least 40 passengers were injured and taken to Mutare Provincial Hospital for treatment.
Over the weekend, the hospital was overwhelmed by the number of patients.
Addressing stakeholders, Mutare Provincial Hospital representative Sister Fortunate Sigauke said the hospital was overwhelmed, noting challenges faced in the X-ray department.
Dr Gwaradzimba bemoaned the existence of one X-ray machine at the hospital.
“I am concerned about the state of preparedness,” she said.
“I am told that the response was not as quick as the injured persons expected, our ambulances, and in terms of all the help that was rendered.”