The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

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.

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