Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Death is a thief which strikes and when it strikes it does when we least expect it. This is the feeling among the Tauyanago family from Chikombedzi who lost three of their kinsman in a road traffic accident between Beitbridge Border Post and Musina town on Sunday evening.
The family was plunged into mourning after Morris Tauyanago (62) and his daughter in law Shelter Muzvidziwa (33) and grandchild Ngakudzwe (one-year-old) were killed when a Toyota Fortuner they were traveling in rammed into the trailer of a haulage truck along the N1 highway.
The truck had just got onto the road and travelling towards Beitbridge border post while the Toyota Fortuner was heading towards Musina.
To add salt to injury, Mr Tauyanago had just crossed into South Africa for the first time in his lifetime when tragedy struck.
He was going to visit his children, most of whom are based in South Africa.
The Tauyanagos’ met their demise together with Sharon Nyathi (26) , Kudzai Chirengende (24), Gilbert Mahonolwa (50) and Winston Sunday (28) and all had their remains interred on Friday in Chiredzi and Chivi districts, except Sunday whose remains are pending repatriation.
Morris’s young brother, Honest said he was still in a state of shock and that he had been left with many questions than answers.
“This is very painful, my brother had just crossed into South Africa for the first time in his lifetime. “We are putting everything in God’s hands. At the same time I want to urge the South Africans to consider putting a traffic circle near the accident scene which has become a death trap.
“Many people have died in road accidents at the same spot. I am also a driver and I know how bad that stretch is. This is very painful to lose a loved one under such circumstances,” he said.
Honest’s sister Evelyn said she was still at pains to accept her father’s death.
She said the senior citizen was visiting all his children based in the neighbouring country when he met his demise.
“I am heart broken. We have lost our pillar of strength, a man full of love.
“What really pains me is that he died even before getting to Musina town, a place he had wished to visit in a long time,” she said.
Another relative, Patson Tauyanago said although the family had been plunged into mourning he was grateful for the help they got from South African Authorities and the Zimbabwean Government through its South African consulate.
He said the efforts by the authorities had made the identification and repatriation process seamless.
“This is just too much for us. I have never dreamt of a day one would lose his grandfather, aunt and young brother in such a painful manner.
“However, we have to be strong and move on. At the same time let me commend the South African and Zimbabweans governments for their assistance. This scenario is very devastating,” said Patson.
Ms Ngonidzashe Mvura said she had lost a hardworking sister in Kudzai Chirengende (24). “It is very disturbing for one to outlive their youngest siblings. My sister was very hard working and she was a go getter whom we all believed in.
“As hard as it is we have to put everything in our maker’s hands. This tragedy wouldn’t have been easier without the help of the Road Accident Fund (South Africa) and the Zimbabwe Embassy staff.
Such a gesture must be extended to all Zimbabweans,” she said.
Zimbabwe’s Consul-General to South Africa Mrs Melody Chaurura, who accompanied the bodies from south of the Limpopo to Zimbabwe on Thursday expressed her heartfelt condolences to the bereaving families.
“This is a very sad moment for the families and our Government. However we are grateful for the support we got from our host through the Road Accident Fund which made it seamless for the relatives to repatriate their loved ones and afford them a dignified burial,” said Mrs Chaurura.