Two Honda Fit vehicles collided head-on in Mazowe early yesterday killing nine people, with Acting Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa expressing concern over the high number of fatal accidents which have claimed 15 lives in less than a week.
Minister Mutsvangwa said drivers should exercise caution on the roads to avoid the loss of lives.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said yesterday’s accident occurred around 2:30am near the 43km peg along Harare-Mukumbura Road.
Besides the nine people killed, three others were injured.
This fatal accident came after six people were killed last week in another accident involving a Toyota Hiace and a Nissan Caravan kombis and a bus, in Warren Park, Harare.
“A Honda Fit vehicle with four passengers on board, which was travelling towards Bindura, was involved in a head-on collision with another Honda Fit vehicle with seven passengers on board, which was travelling in the opposite direction,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“As a result of the accident one of the vehicles caught fire, resulting in three victims being burnt beyond recognition. The bodies of the victims were taken to Concession Hospital mortuary for post-mortems while the injured are admitted to the same hospital.”
Ambassador Mutsvangwa urged drivers to exercise due safety and extra care.
“The festive season has started on a painful and tragic note with two terrible car accidents,” he said.
“Taking due cue from the Head of State, the Ministries of Home Affairs and of Transport, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and other Government traffic safety agencies are imploring the driving public to exercise due safety and extra care on our highways,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said DNA tests would be conducted on three of the bodies that were burnt beyond recognition to ascertain the identities of the deceased.
One of the vehicles had family members while the other vehicle had people coming from a night out.
It is understood that at around 2:30 am, a white vehicle that was being driven by a 24-year-old man with four passengers encroached into the lane of an oncoming silver Honda Fit with seven people which was heading towards Harare.
On impact, the silver vehicle caught fire and three people were burnt beyond recognition.
Ambassador Mutsvangwa called on the nation to heed President Mnangagwa’s plea for cautious driving.
“H.E. the President Dr. Emmerson D. Mnangagwa issued an impassioned plea for safe driving with an emphasis against drinking and driving in his address at the final Politburo meeting of 2023.
“Every driver owes it to all fellow road users to exercise maximum alertness once one takes to the highway,” he said.
During the Zanu PF Politburo meeting last week, President Mnangagwa cautioned motorists to desist from complacency as it would lead to the unnecessary loss of lives.
He implored drivers to follow all laid down road rules and regulations saying it was the general citizenry’s duty to ensure accidents were avoided.
“As we go for our festive holidays and into the new year, I call upon the nation to continue upholding the culture of unity, love and hardwork and let us also drive safely on our roads,” said the President.
“Let us drive carefully. Those who want to drink, drink at home, kana wadhakwa wovata (when you get drunk retire to bed).”
In another head-on collision, three people were killed when a Sino truck with three passengers on board was involved in a head on collision with a DAF truck with one passenger on board at the 50km peg along the Mutare-Juliasdale on Sunday at around 3pm.
Two victims were identified by their next of kin as Patience Muzarerawetu a female adult of Wattle Company and Garikayi Charamba, a male adult of Watsomba Business Centre.