TOMBS Motorways has allegedly dumped its conductor of five years after he was seriously injured in an accident that left three passengers dead.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Christopher Mandla, who was conductor on the Tombs Motorways bus which was involved in an accident last year along the Shurugwi-Zvishavane Highway, told Kwekwe magistrate Vimbai Mutukwa that he was left in hospital with no support after the company neglected to pay his medical bills.
“I was also a victim of this accident because I was seriously injured, but the company neglected me in hospital and they did not even pay my medical bills regardless of the fact that I was injured while performing duties as their employee,” he said.
Mandla sustained head injuries, a fractured leg and his left eye was permanently blinded during the accident. He spent close to $3 000 on treatment and allegedly did not get any assistance from his employer.
Tombs Motorways bus driver Willard Muchuweni and Mandla are facing a lawsuit in which Privilege Mashawi is demanding R39 470 for goods that were damaged during the accident. She is further demanding $700 monthly in loss of business.
Through its transport manager, John Chitana, the bus company has denied responsibility and has instead insisted that the conductor should compensate Mashawi.
Chitana said Mandla had entered into a private deal with Mashawi and had not issued a proper receipt for the goods and, therefore, Tombs Motorways could not be held liable.
Mandla, who is being represented by Liberty Mashanyare, said the company was being insensitive because he had issued a receipt which he produced.
“Even as I was in hospital trying to recover from the accident, they would visit me and force me to pay for the damaged goods. I then realised that instead of caring for my welfare as their employee, they wanted me to suffer. I then quit the job out of hurt,” he told the court.
He also told the court the Tombs Motorways killer bus did not have a speedometer and did not have a fitness certificate forcing him to bribe police officers and VID inspectors along the way to Beitbridge and back to Kwekwe with the blessings of his management.
“All the old buses at Tombs Motorways don’t have working speedometers and most of them don’t have fitness certificates. They are on the road because VID inspectors are receiving bribes to let them through,” he said.