FOUR people died on the spot while 16 others were injured when a Mbare-bound commuter omnibus they were travelling in rammed into the trailer of a haulage truck about 10km outside Harare along Harare-Bulawayo Highway yesterday morning.
By Idah Mhetu/MTHANDAZO NYONI
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said all the 16 injured people were taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital with five of them said to be in a critical condition.
“Preliminary investigations show that the commuter omnibus was speeding as shown by the skid marks on the road,” Charamba said.
“The driver of the commuter omnibus possibly tried to apply brakes, but failed to stop and rammed into the trailer of a haulage truck from a side road. The driver of the commuter omnibus also died on the spot.
“The accident could have been avoided if drivers exercise caution on the road and adhere to speed limits.”
Meanwhile, Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Obert Mpofu has threatened to phase out the commuter omnibus businesses following a sharp increase in fatal accidents involving commuter omnibuses.
Speaking at the 2015 national driver of the year competition awards ceremony in Bulawayo on Sunday, Mpofu blamed kombi drivers for causing most of the accidents.
“I am happy that this competition has included a kombis category. We have a challenge with some of the kombi drivers whether they are from Bulawayo, Harare or whatever place, their behaviour is the same,” Mpofu said.
“In fact, it’s in the entire region, if not continent. If you drive well, I won’t phase you out.”
The government last year announced plans to phase out urban commuter omnibuses in line with comprehensive moves to decongest major cities as well as create a modern and affordable transport system.
Under the new plan, high-capacity buses operated by a limited number of private players would replace commuter omnibuses and are expected to service designated routes.