Mozambique: Court Seizes Bus Company Workshops

Judge's gavel (file photo)

Maputo — The Nampula provincial court in northern Mozambique has ordered the seizure of two workshops belonging to the company Nagi Investments, after Nagi failed to compensate passengers injured in a serious traffic accident, according to a report on the independent television station, STV.

Nagi, a company set up with Tanzanian capital, operates bus routes across Mozambique. On 19 March 2019, one of its buses, travelling from Mueda in Cabo Delgado to Nampula city, had a serious accident in the Nampula district of Erati.

The bus came off the road and overturned. Two passengers suffered major injuries, and in both cases doctors operated to amputate their right arm. The passengers are convinced that excessive speed by the driver caused the crash, and demanded compensation

It took a long time for the case to come to court, but in mid-2020 the Erati district court ordered Nagi Investments to pay compensation of seven million meticais (about 95,000 US dollars) to each of the injured passengers.

Nagi should have paid the compensation within ten days, but did not do so. The lawyers for the two passengers appaealed to the provincial court, and demanded that Nagi property should be seized and sold off to pay the compensation.

On Wednesday an agreement was reached to pawn two Nagi workshops in Nampula. They are now in the hands of the court, and serve as collateral. If Nagi does not pay the compensation, then the workshops will be sold to raise the money.

One of the passengers, 38 year old Neusa Massapa, told STV she is still fighting to overcome the trauma caused by the loss of her right arm. "It changed everything. It was my right arm, and I'm a teacher", she said. "I have work that requires the use of my right hand, and now I can't do it".

She recalled that, during the journey, the passengers repeatedly told the driver to slow down, but he refused. The driver said he was driving at speed, because he feared the possibility of a terrorist ambush (though there have never been any terrorist attacks in Erati district).

Massapa remembered that the driver showed no respect for the passengers, and told them "if you don't want to travel, you can get off the bus".

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