4 perish, several injured in kombi accident

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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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Just how many people have to die first before a black spot is given attention and the necessary done? We all know that all haulage trucks from SA to Chirundu use that intersection but why not give it attention by way of traffic lights or roundabout (circle)? Does it take the death of a prominent politician for that to happen?

    Obert talks about phasing out kombis but he should know that it is another way of offloading tens of thousands of unemployed people onto the streets. Please let’s do the necessary as government and stop blaming citizens except yourselves. What is law enforcement about? Arrest law-breaking kombi drivers and set an example. Is this an admission that government has failed to control its people? What more when all kombi drivers and conductors become vendors? This is real recipe for chaos I tell you.

  2. Kombi’s must not rejected because in our country we have shortage of buses ,so will be in trouble.It iis better to ensure that policemen are doing their job .

  3. Not one person who drives on our roads can deny that Kombis are an utter nuisance and a danger to all of us with their reckless driving and total disregard for road regulations and complete disrespect for fellow road users. Having said that Kombis do play a major part in getting people to and from work and simply removing them is not the answer. I am sure a great percentage of these accidents could be avoided if we were to adopt a similar system to the MOT certificate where a vehicle must be certified as roadworthy once or in the case of Kombis twice a year and any work required to deem it roadworthy must be carried out before it can be released from the service station/garage. This technically would mean that all vehicles would have had some sort of inspection within the last 6 months at least. If the garage is responsible for issuing the certificate it will also help to stamp out corruption at road blocks but most of all keep us safe on the roads. Some of the vehicles I see on a daily basis should not even be on our roads as they are simply death traps.

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