NYANGA, Monday, August 5, 1991 — In the worst bus accident in the country’s history 84 secondary school children and five teachers from Regina Coeli Roman Catholic Mission here died on Saturday night when the bus they were travelling in left the road at the 32km peg along the Nyamaropa Road.
The children and teachers were coming from St Killian’s Mission after attending a regional sports competition for all Catholic schools in Manicaland province. There were 13 survivors including a student teacher, Cde Liliosa Manjoro from Mutare Teachers’ Training College.
Speaking from her bed in Nyanga Hospital, Cde Manjoro said the teachers and children had left Rusape around 6PM after the inter-schools sports competition. Along the Rusape-Nyanga Road, the driver of the bus was travelling at a very high speed, she said.
When cautioned against speeding by the sportsmaster —who died in the accident — the driver said he was rushing to refuel before the garage at Brondesbury closed. But after refilling at the garage the driver sped again.
The sports master once again warned him. Cde Manjoro said that she fell asleep while the bus was moving but woke up when it veered off the road and almost landed in a ditch. The sports master again gave the driver a strong warning telling him to reduce speed as they were approaching steep gradients.
The driver stubbornly refused. As they approached Troutbeck, some of the students asked the driver to stop so they could disembark and walk the remaining distance. Still the driver refused. The teacher fell asleep again, and was awoken by a sudden loud bang and frantic screams. She heard groans of pain all around her as children called out for help.