The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Holiday Carnage Stands At 81

EIGHTY-ONE people have died in road accidents so far this festive season while 461 were injured, police confirmed yesterday.

Police recorded 880 accidents since December 15, when the festive season began.

This marks a decrease compared to the same period last year when 144 people were killed and 669 injured in 970 accidents.

National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said the most fatal accident occurred on Saturday afternoon near Chipinge when a commuter omnibus burst a tyre and overturned killing four people. "The accident occurred at the 90km peg along the Mutare-Masvingo road when the commuter omnibus carrying 18 passengers burst its left rear tyre and the driver lost control. It veered off the road and overturned killing two people on the spot," he said.

Chief Supt Nyathi said two other passengers died on admission at Mutambara Hospital.

He cited speeding, overtaking errors and misjudgement among major causes of road accidents recorded so far.

Chief Supt Nyathi said police impounded 1 199 unroadworthy vehicles since December 15.

"We have also issued 85 169 tickets to motorists for various traffic offences," he said.

Chief Supt Nyathi appealed to motorists and pedestrians to always observe road rules and regulations during the Christmas and New Year holidays which are usually associated with a high number of accidents.

Last year, more than 200 people died and close to 1 000 were injured in road traffic accidents during the festive season.

Chief Supt Nyathi added that although there were no major incidents of crime recorded throughout the country, police would continue mounting 24 hour roadblocks on the country's major roads and carrying out patrols to curb criminal activities.

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