Thirteen people died on the spot and six others were seriously injured when a Madziva-bound commuter omnibus burst its front right tyre, veered off the road before ramming into a tree and overturned.
The omnibus was reportedly carrying 21 passengers all destined for Gowora, Madziva. The tragic accident occurred around 11am at 51km peg along the Harare-Bindura Road at Georgia West Farm about 35km from Bindura town. When NewsDay arrived at the scene, police officers could be seen picking up pieces of flesh strewn all around the area as the bodies of the deceased had already been ferried to a mortuary in Harare.
Mashonalan Central police spokesperson Superintendent Ephraim Nyakata, who was at the scene, attributed the accident to overloading. He also blamed the tragedy on faulty Japanese-made tyres, which the Zimbabwean law insists have to be changed once the vehicles are imported.
“I am made to understand that 13 people lost their lives in this accident and six were critically injured and have been ferried to Concession Hospital and two toddlers survived as well,” Nyakata said.
“Our warning to the Japan second-hand vehicle importers is that they must change the vehicle tyres as soon as they get into the country as the Japanese tyres were not made for our climatic conditions.
“Tyres from Japan look new, but are not suitable for our roads. Our local tyres are more reliable and suitable for our roads.”
Nyakata said he had gathered that the omnibus burst the right front tyre and the driver, who reportedly survived, lost control of the vehicle, leading to the accident.
According to an eyewitness, Lancelot Timothy of Harmony Farm, who was close by when the accident occurred, the kombi was speeding.“The kombi was coming from Harare carrying members of an apostolic sect from Dzivaresekwa and Warren Park,” he said. “The vehicle was speeding when it flew across the road and hit against a tree, killing passengers instantly.”