Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared the Chimanimani bus accident, which claimed 35 lives, a disaster. In a statement, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said: “In terms of Section 27, Subsection (1) of the Civil Protection Act, Chapter 10.06 of 1989, His Excellency, the President Cde E.D Mnangagwa, has declared a State of Disaster regarding the road traffic accident to enable the State to meet the medical bills of the injured and render funeral assistance to the bereaved families.
“As provided in the above piece of legislation, the Government of Zimbabwe will meet the burial costs of all the deceased and provide medical assistance for the injured.” A command center, Minister Moyo said, has been established at Victoria Chitepo Hospital where bodies of the deceased are being collected.
He added that psycho-social support for the bereaved families was now being provided. “I would like to implore public transport operators to always exercise a high degree of caution and care on the roads. It is disheartening to note that the bus was overloaded hence putting the lives of passengers at risk.
“Law enforcement agencies and responsible authorities will ensure that stringent measures are taken to deal with errant drivers along major highways. Culprits will face the full wrath of the law. “I urge passengers to contribute towards their safety and prevent the speeding of drivers.”
Police said 107 Zion Christian Church congregants were aboard the bus when it plunged into a valley in the Matariana area near Jopa, Chipinge.