Lingani Nyika, Chronicle Reporter
BUSINESS came to a standstill in Victoria Falls when a funeral cortège made up of scores of taxi drivers literally blocked roads as they mourned their colleague who died in car accident on Friday.
Commuters were stranded on Mondays when all taxis were withdrawn from the road as drivers attended Emmanuel Thunywa’s burial.
Thunywa, a popular taxi driver in the resort town, died on the spot on his 30th birthday when he lost control of his vehicle which overturned in Chidobe.
He had just gotten married to Ms Tapiwa Hikwa.
His two cousins Prince Mlilo and Ivonn Dube survived with injuries.
It was an emotional send-off as friends, relatives and taxi drivers mourned Thunywa.
Burial service was held at a local parlour where hundreds of people turned up, disregarding Covid-19 regulations restricting funeral gatherings to 30 people.
Some followed proceedings from outside the funeral parlour’s chapel in observance of social distancing.
From the parlour, taxis lined up as they trickled into the main road, driving to Moringa in Mkhosana before driving back to Chinotimba past Victoria Falls Hospital, Chinotimba Rank and Emaplankeni, the places where Thunywa operated from.
People stood on the road sides and outside houses to witness the emotional procession accompanied by hooting of cars.
For some minutes even the Hwange-Victoria Falls highway was blocked at the Mkhosana turn-off to allow easy passage by the cortège.
Taxi drivers said Thunywa’s death came as a shock.
Victoria Falls Taxis Association chairperson Mr Admire Dube said it was a blow to the industry.
“We are pained by losing a brother especially dying on his birthday. We are here to show our support and love for him. He was a great man and it is a loss to us. As an association we have resolved that his wife will get free transport whenever she travels around Victoria Falls as a gesture of love and respect for the man we worked with,” he said.
A resident Mr Praymore Ncube of Mfelandawonye said: “We are touched by what happened. There was no transport in the morning but we understand because taxi drivers were mourning their colleague.”
Mrs Margaret Mutongola said she waited for 45 minutes at the bus stop before she was told that there were no taxis. She said she had to walk to the city centre. — @NyikaLingani