BY TANYADZWA NHARI
THE Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ) has committed $7 million in ex gratia payment towards the burial of 38 people who perished in the St Charles Luanga Mission bus crash which occurred along the Chimanimani-Chipinge Road last week.
The bus did not have the mandatory public passenger insurance, the ICZ said in a statement yesterday.
“ICZ’s assistance through the Civil Protection Unit is an indication of its alertness to the burden faced by the government that has had to deal with both man-made and natural disasters that are continuing to occur in the country,” it said.
The accident was declared a national disaster prompting ICZ to assist in the burial of the deceased. ICZ contracted Doves and Nyaradzo to provide mortuary and burial services for all the deceased.
“ICZ noted with sadness the continued loss of life on the country’s roads. The accident robbed the Zion Christian Church of members who were breadwinners as well as young members whose lives were cut short,” the ICZ added.
The bus, which was overloaded, carrying 106 passengers did not have the mandatory public passenger insurance to assist the victims with medical and funeral expenses.
About 40% of public service vehicles are not compliant with the Road Traffic Act.
“Unfortunately, the trend is that most fatal accidents that are happening are within the non-compliant category,” ICZ said.
“ICZ is encouraging all public service vehicle operators including schools that have buses to ensure that they have the required insurance cover. In the event of an accident the burden would not unnecessarily fall on government, but on insurance.
“ICZ, together with other stakeholders that include the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, will embark on awareness campaigns to educate the public on safe travel and benefits and rights of passengers with regards to mandatory motor and public passenger insurance,” the statement added.