Ray Bande and Osbert Mashonganyika
THE Bomboni steep slope in Burma Valley where five people died in a road accident last Sunday is notorious black spot where two more accidents have happened this year, claiming two casualties.
While the sharp curves along the Mutare-Burma Valley road present motorists with challenges with a number of accidents being recorded, the steep slope on the 54km peg in Bomboni village has claimed the lives of seven people so far this year. In an interview, one Saungweme, who was driving a five tonne truck that was involved in the accident that killed five people, said he lost control of the vehicle after a technical fault.
“A technical error is all that I remember and this made me lose control of the vehicle. Many accidents have happened on that same spot, but unfortunately it happened to me. I am very sorry to the families that lost relatives that were aboard my truck. I am no stranger to the steep slopes along Mutare-Burma Valley road. I bought my truck about two years ago and since then I have been transporting people and maize along this road,” said a visibly distraught Saungweme.
A villager who resides near the area Mwaimbodei Mutasa said two accidents have happened at the same spot this year.
“This is the third accident to occur at the same spot this year. A cyclist died at the same spot early this year. A driver of a certain vehicle also died there after being involved in an accident about two months ago,” he said.
Saungweme’s lorry veered off the road and overturned several times before landing on its wheels. Five people were killed while 25 others were injured, three of them seriously, and were taken to Mutare Provincial Hospital.
The vehicle, which was Mutare-bound, had 29 passengers.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed that five people died.
“The accident occurred around 1030 hours on Sunday at the 54km peg along Mutare-Burma Road and five people perished.
“A Mitsubishi lorry which was bound for Mutare had 30 people aboard including the driver. On approaching the 54km peg, the driver lost control of the vehicle while descending a steep slope which resulted in it veering off the road and overturning several times before it landed on its wheels killing five people on spot and injuring 25 others.
“The lorry was carrying people who were coming from a memorial service near the Mozambican boarder,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the injured were rushed to Mutare Provincial Hospital where 17 people were treated and discharged while eight were admitted.
He added that the bodies of the deceased were all identified as adult females.
“The deceased were identified as Phillip Marondo (50), Pepeginas Chaipa, Sinikiwe Zingara, Irene Antonio and Brenda Maringise,” he said.
He appealed to motorists to always adhere to road rules and regulations to avoid unnecessary loss of lives due to road accidents.
“It is unfortunate that we continue to lose precious lives due to road accidents. We continue to urge our drivers to avoid speed limits and terrain when embarking on journeys.
“We reiterate that drivers must be observant and always adhere to road rules and regulations to avoid unnecessary loss of lives,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.