Road victims to be compensated
THE government will soon introduce an insurance cover and financial scheme that will see the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development compensating accident victims and footing their hospital bills, a Cabinet Minister has said.
In an interview on the sidelines of Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) national drivers’ competition awards ceremony on Sunday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said the Government would soon adopt schemes that are already in existence in South Africa and Botswana where accident victims are compensated through insurance cover.
“We are also planning as a Ministry and we are at a very advanced stage.
‘‘We are looking at the competitive advantage on the schemes that are operative in South Africa and Botswana which we want to adopt and improve on so that we can have an insurance cover for accident victims regardless of the type of accident that they are involved in,” he said.
“We are at an advanced stage in trying to come up with such a scheme so that we ensure that all accident victims get compensation.
‘‘We will however categorise the victims so that they get a certain amount of money depending on the seriousness of injuries or accident.”
Dr Gumbo said there was also a need for the ministry to capacitate hospitals along major highways to enable them to respond rapidly and efficiently in case of accidents.
He said at the moment, they are assisting Chivhu and Gwanda hospitals with ambulances so that they have the capacity to attend to accidents efficiently and be able to save lives.
He said his ministry had agreed to allocate a certain percentage of money collected by the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) to the TSCZ that would go towards capacitating hospitals and assisting during accidents.
“What is also happening is that the TSCZ is now collecting money from Zinara to assist during accidents when people get injured,” said Dr Gumbo.
He said this was at the instigation of Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa following the Kwekwe accident involving a Pfochez bus and a Toyota Sprinter where 31 people died in March.
While addressing drivers and public transport operators at the awards ceremony, Dr Gumbo said there has been a marginal decrease in road accidents in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year while the number of deaths has increased.
On average there are five people killed daily on our roads while approximately 38 persons are injured, he said.
The number of traffic collisions which occurred during the first half of this year declined by six percent from 21,934 to 18,451 compared to last year.
He said the Government is worried about the disasters that occurred during this period.
“These contributed to the increase in fatalities from 793 in 2015 to 847 for the same period this year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Delta Beverages’ Chengetai Vhavha was the driver of the year in the articulated vehicles category and MacNight Mupeziweni of Masvingo City Council scooped the similar award in the rigid category.
Ronald Katadzaushe, a kombi driver was the driver of the year in his category while Shadreck Mupondi of Zimbabwe National Army won in the bus category.