ELEVEN members of the True Apostolic Mission Church died yesterday, while 119 others were seriously injured when the hired haulage truck they were travelling in overturned near Kamativi along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
The church members were travelling from Siabuwa and Nabusenga in Binga to a conference in Hwange.
The accident reportedly occurred at around 4:15am at the 28,5km peg between Cross Dete and Kamativi after the driver failed to negotiate a steep slope near a Transport ministry workshop.
The police officer commanding Hwange district, Chief Superintendent Newton Mutomba, confirmed the accident, saying the survivors were rushed to Hwange Colliery and St Patrick Mission hospitals.
“The members were rushing to attend a church conference here in Hwange, but the driver failed to negotiate a descending steep slope and lost control.
“The truck veered off the road and overturned throwing the passengers out, leading to deaths and different degrees of injuries,” he said.
“For now, we haven’t established how many people were in the truck, but initial investigations show that they were about 130 people.
“I would like to urge motorists to be cautious when driving, especially at night.
“People should also avoid overloading and vehicles must be roadworthy.”
Hwange district administrator Simon Muleya, who also chairs the district Civil Protection Unit, said nine of the injured were in a critical condition and would be transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo.
The names of the deceased are being withheld until their next of kin have been informed.