Prosper Ndlovu Chronicle Reporter
TWO female teachers and a colleague from Matabeleland North schools were killed in a road accident that left four other people, including a four-year-old baby, seriously injured in Lupane last Thursday. Two died on the spot while one died on admission to St Luke’s Mission Hospital where all the injured were rushed to following the accident suspected to have been caused by a tyre burst.
A witness said the teachers were on board a Nissan Liberty vehicle, registration number ABN 2320, on their way to Bulawayo where they intended to withdraw their pay the following day when tragedy struck at around 2.30PM.
“The vehicle was going to Bulawayo with seven passengers on board. Upon reaching the160km peg, it burst its rear tyre resulting in the driver losing control,” said the witness who requested anonymity. It (vehicle) veered off the road and overturned, rolled three times before landing on its roof, killing two people on the spot. The third person died on admission to St Luke’s.”
It is suspected the tyre burst was induced by high temperatures.
All the injured have since been discharged, except for the four-year-old baby who has since been transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital and is said to be in a critical condition.
Matabeleland North provincial education director Boithatelo Mnguni confirmed receiving a report on the accident.
“We’re very sorry over this accident. We had just done our staffing and this is going to disturb learning in the affected schools at a time we’re preparing for examinations,” she said.
“Replacing teachers at this time of the year is a problem. It’s not nice at all.”
Mnguni said officials from her office were yesterday expected to visit the hospitalised baby.
Those who died in the accident have been identified as Chiedza Matron Masocha, 42, a teacher from Mupambe Secondary in Binga, Brenda Mudzonga (age not given) a teacher from Lupote Secondary in Hwange and Sithokozile Moyo, 23, wife to a teacher at Fatima High and mother to the injured four-year-old baby.
The injured were identified as Butholezwe Dube, 29, the acting headmaster of Gwayi Secondary, Praise Ndlovu, 37, a teacher at Sitshongo satellite primary in Lupane, Qinisile Tshabalala and Shamiso Wunde, 32, both teachers from Tshongogwe Primary.
The driver Mbonisi Nsima, 25, of Lobengula West in Bulawayo, was also injured.
Mnguni said the three women who lost their lives were buried at their rural homes at the weekend – Masotsha in Chiweshe, Machonga in Silobela and Moyo at St Luke’s area, Lupane.The Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu described the accident as “unfortunate”.
“It’s a sad development to have teachers losing lives in the course of duty. They were on their way to collect salaries. This is an issue the government should look at to see how access to services can be improved for teachers,” he said.
Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Inspector Siphiwe Makonese could not comment on the accident.