43 perish in Bus crash. . . Zambia-bound bus rams into tree

A tow truck recovers the wreckage of the King Lion bus that veered off the road and hit a tree killing 43 people in Nyamakate, Hurungwe, on Wednesday night. — (Picture by Walter Nyamukondiwa).

A tow truck recovers the wreckage of the King Lion bus that veered off the road and hit a tree killing 43 people in Nyamakate, Hurungwe, on Wednesday night. — (Picture by Walter Nyamukondiwa).

Whinsley Masara/Thandeka Moyo, Chronicle Reporter
FORTY-THREE people died on the spot while 30 were injured when a Zambia-bound King Lion bus rammed into a tree in the Nyamakate area in Hurungwe on Wednesday night.

National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the bus driver failed to negotiate a curve leading to him losing control of the bus which then hit a tree before overturning.

“Police would like to confirm a fatal road traffic accident involving a King Lion bus which was travelling from Harare to Lusaka, Zambia, which occurred along the Harare-Chirundu Road at the 257km peg near Nyamakate shops, Karoi.

“On approaching the 257km peg the driver failed to negotiate a curve and the bus veered off the road and rammed into a big tree, killing the driver on the spot together with 42 passengers,” she said.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said due to the impact of the crash some of the seats were dislodged and thrown to the front of the bus.

chinoyi accident 2

“Five have since been transferred to Harare for further management while 25 are receiving treatment at Chinhoyi and Karoi hospitals and are in a stable condition.

“The bodies of the deceased were conveyed to Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital mortuary for post-mortem,” she said.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said police are investigating the accident and more details will be availed in due course.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said:

“It has been confirmed that we lost 43 people in a disaster in Karoi and I am now dashing there to see the efforts that are being made by the State to help. It is indeed a state of disaster and we have been plunged into mourning.

“Just a few weeks ago we attended a meeting in Mexico with President Mugabe and among the things that we talked about were disasters and these are some of the disasters that we call man-made,” said Minister Kasukuwere.

He said the state of the country’s roads, speeding, lack of attention, tiredness and human faults caused such disasters.

“We have to take extra care as citizens because while there are natural disasters, man-made disasters are a cause for concern that cost us quite a lot.”

The International Cross- Border Traders’ Association immediately called on the Government to withdraw  King Lion Bus Company’s passenger permit.

The association’s president, Mr Denis Juru, said the company should be investigated on all accidents that their buses have been involved in over the years.

“This bus company has been involved in too many accidents which add up to a large number of people having died.

“We can’t just sit and watch while it robs the nation of citizens every now and then. We therefore appeal to the Government for immediate intervention before more people die,” he said yesterday.

“It’s sad to lose a life, and it’s even shocking to lose 43 lives at one go. We have been saddened by the death of 43 passengers in the King Lion’s Nyamakate accident today. It is with deep pain that we acknowledge 40 of the deceased were cross-border traders.

“Twenty-two were from Harare, eight from Mashonaland East, seven from Mashonaland Central, two from Masvingo and one from Midlands provinces.”

The Kings Lion bus that was involved in an accident

The King Lion bus that was involved in an accident

He said about 60 people had died in King Lion bus accidents since 2014.

Mr Juru alleged speeding was the main cause of the accidents.

“On July 19, 2015, a bus belonging to King Lion killed 12 passengers, 37km from Kafue along Lusaka-Chirundu road in Zambia.

“On July 23, 2014, a King Lion South Africa-bound bus killed two people. The [then] Chronicle business editor, Menart Mafirakureva, was killed when his car collided with a King Lion bus along Masvingo-Harare road near Beatrice. The accident also killed one passenger who was in the bus,” said Mr Juru.

“On June 28, 2014, a King Lion South Africa-bound bus killed two passengers and several were injured. The accident occurred 40km before Masvingo along Harare-Masvingo road. The bus sideswiped with a Pioneer bus which was going north.”

He alleged the incidents were evidence that King Lion bus drivers are not professionally and defensively trained.

A woman who answered the King Lion official Econet number and declined to identify herself said:

“At the moment we have nothing to say to the media but are preparing something for everyone, which will be released soon.”

@winnie_masara

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  • MacGee

    Hhhhh I feel sorry for the innocent passengers who were travelling but to alll the bus drivers on our roads I urge them to drive as class 1 drivers and note that speed kills. Most buses on our roads rarely do speeds below 120km, especially those Chinese Yutongs are just flying on these bad roads. Please lets drive responsibly and save generations

  • Mkhokheli

    Very sad in deed,my country men dying like this because of the poor state of the roads. We need something new not the tired ZANU PF and equally clueless MDCs. All these institutions are dead because of their brain dead leaders. We have Chinese looting all the minerals without putting even a cent towards the development of the infrastructure, and nobody is talking about it when our people are dying like flies in this manner.

    • big

      Explain how equally clueless MDCs are?

      • Donovan Dube

        Splitting into a hundred little political parties due to greed and hunger for power is a sign of a cluelessness and political constipation! They are as culpable as ZANU PF in everything that has gone wrong since the day they joined that unity government to fatten their bellies.

        • big

          Point!!

  • Mthwakazi

    The fact that this was a zhing zhong won’t help matters either.

  • big

    THIS IS VERY SHOCKING AND UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    We can rightly blame the roads yes. But you know the road is bad, you are traveling at night, you have perhaps 80 passengers relying on you, but you decide to over-speed, and you decide to keep on speeding even at curves. Bus drivers, must be taken to task.

    I also want to believe the driver of the bus that recently killed 20 plus people in Chirumhanzu cannot be absolved, he was also most likely speeding and failed to take evasive action in time when the haulage truck encroached onto his lane..

    • Edward Paul

      Yes very true

  • mamoe

    Thats real sad news, brethrens less stand up and pray to the ALMIGHTY for those who are hospitalized because is the one who can add a hour in someone life and to those gone, go well brothers and sisters R.I.P. Remember mostly of these people are fathers and mothers and some breadwinners imagine what will happen to those remaining behind EISHHHHH.

  • Roscoe

    Slaughter of the innocents…shame

  • #19

    True Kasukuwere… it is indeed a STATE OF DISASTER like you said

    • MaNyathi

      wayibeka!

  • Mkhusto

    Ungavikeli inhambo zikamgabe ezingelangqondo man made disasters ukuthini. Abantu bafile ngoba imigwaqo ayikhanyi njalo mibi….umgabe udla imali yemigwaqo, abantukazana bafile yilo iqiniso lakhona. Ungadakw’ phambi kwethu. Siluzisi ngezihlobo zethu ezisitshiyileyo. Phephani zihlobo

  • Martin Chipimo

    Cry the beloved country. Our people are dying in these buses when they are trying HARD to make ends meet. Its NOT ENOUGH for the government to just declare it a National Disaster, Put stiff rules on the bus operators and SORT out the economic situation in the country. Shame to the Zanu PF Cdes. May the Innocent souls REST in Peace.

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  • Chokwadi

    Ndezvemushonga this King Lion owner thrives neropa revanhu

  • Joe

    And the tree? Is it OK?

  • rinovava

    nhoko dzezvironda/ harvest from murder.current fertile killing fields .is it strange that one company slaughters close to 200 souls within a year and our leaders take that as part of progress, isnt is soul destroying that the people who perished were going to seek for the betterment of their families bringing in a bit more through the national fiscus through declaration os goods as imports…while our leaders are busy self grandising . isnt is canal that the owner of a killer bus services changes name from kukusha mhunga to devouring lion and continue to harvest the precious blood of innocent souls through the beackering of who cares mantra….they harvest blood of the innocent . the death of so many woman shows how our society is breaking. we need the owners to be accountably held and charged and punished severely as in preciousness of the lost people.. the insurance for travelers must adhere to precious human cost. if the people arent as valued as the economy then operators will continue to harvest nhoko dzezvironda. in times like these we run short of words but if not enough deterent sentences arent passed to operators then we are but a useless lot.

  • uBhonklanti

    Every bus must have speed limiters. this current trend of buses flying on the roads is a recipe for disaster. King Lion buses have killed close to 90 people in the last 2 yrs or so. Take away their operators permit

    • chrogic

      Aah 90 people dead and they are still allowed to continue killing!!!!!