The Herald (Harare)

4 July 2014

Zimbabwe: 33 Killed in Road Accidents

Thirty-three people have died countrywide in the past two weeks while 122 others were injured in road accidents mainly caused by commuter omnibuses. Police chief spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, confirmed the accidents and attributed them to overtaking errors, speeding and negligence.

"We recorded 34 accidents in which 33 people were killed while 122 others were seriously injured in the past two weeks countrywide. The majority of the accidents were caused by commuter omni-buses," Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.

She said most commuter omnibus drivers involved in the accidents did not have valid driver's licences.

"As police, we are concerned with the high number of accidents particularly by errant commuter omnibus drivers. We are going to arrest them and anyone who breach traffic regulations we will ensure that they are prosecuted to tame this menace," Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.

She said a lot of cases of hit-and- run by commuter omnibuses also topped the list of accidents.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said Godfrey Jasi (26) was run over by a kombi while walking on the extreme left side of Seke Road near ABC Auctions on June 30 and a pedestrian was run over in front of Police Support Unit depot near Chikurubi.

She said in another incident, a soldier was killed by a commuter omnibus at Dzivarasekwa Barracks when it was overtaking on the wrong side of the road.

"We are appealing to the public who might have witnessed these accidents to contact the Police General Headquarters on 700 171 or any nearest Police Station so that the perpetrators can be brought to book," she said.

Cases of commuter omnibus drivers who hit pedestrians are on the increase.

In May this year, a commuter omnibus driver Lloyd Kusotera (28) was jailed for two years for knocking down and killing a four-year-old boy.

His licence was also cancelled and fined US$100 for driving without a medical endorsement.

Meanwhile, an unlicensed commuter omnibus driver, who knocked down two pedestrians while fleeing police in Harare last year and had been on the run, was yesterday sentenced to an effective two years and eight months in prison for negligent driving and driving without a licence.

In addition, Ben Bushu was prohibited from driving a public service vehicle for life and was fined US$200 for failing to stop and report an accident within the stipulated 24 hours.

Failure to pay the fine will see him serving an additional 60 days in prison.

Magistrate Mr Arnold Maburo sentenced Bushu to 12 months behind bars for negligent driving before setting aside four months on condition of good behaviour.

He then slapped Bushu with two years for driving a public vehicle without a licence.

Mr Maburo combined the sentences and effected two years and eight months.

Prosecutor Mr Oscar Madhume told the court that Bushu was spotted by police officers on patrol while picking up passengers at an undesignated spot at the intersection of Charter Road and Mbuya Nehanda Street on May 20 last year.

When he saw the police officers approaching him, Bushu drove off at high speed and hit two pedestrians, identified as Brenda Gairanwa and Chamunorwa Marowa who were standing by the road-side.

Bushu sped off from the scene, but other pedestrians managed to write down the commuter omnibus' registration number.

The injured pedestrians were rushed to hospital.

The vehicle was tracked through the Central Vehicle Registry leading to Bushu's arrest last week.

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