Ac­ci­dents claim 5 lives on New Year’s Day

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

A SOM­BRE at­mos­phere en­gulfed greater Vic­to­ria Falls fol­low­ing the death of five peo­ple while 17 oth­ers were crit­i­cally in­jured in two sep­a­rate ac­ci­dents that took place on New Year’s Day.

Police con­firmed the ac­ci­dents which re­sulted from head on col­li­sions point­ing to hu­man er­ror, with res­i­dents call­ing on au­thor­i­ties to act on be­hav­iour of mo­torists dur­ing the Vic­to­ria Falls Car­ni­val, which they blame for im­moral­ity such as drunk­en­ness that also fu­els reck­less driv­ing.

The first ac­ci­dent claimed the life of a jour­nal­ism grad­u­ate from the Na­tional Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (Nust), Mr Car­los Khu­malo who died on the spot when a ve­hi­cle which had five peo­ple on board col­lided with an­other ve­hi­cle near Cresta Sprayview Lodge around 3am on 1 Jan­uary.

Just be­fore 5am on the same day, a col­li­sion be­tween a Toy­ota Wish and Toy­ota Avante claimed the lives of a 61-year-old wo­man, Mrs An­ge­line Sibanda and her daugh­ter Ly­dia Sibanda (25) as well as an 81-year-old wo­man Mrs Elen Moyo who were driv­ing to Monde from Vic­to­ria Falls where they had at­tended an all-night church ser­vice to cel­e­brate New Year’s Day.

Eight mem­bers of the Vic­tory Church all from Monde out­side Vic­to­ria Falls town who were in the Toy­ota Wish, in­clud­ing Mrs Sibanda’s two other chil­dren are still ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal. The Toy­ota Avante was car­ry­ing four peo­ple com­ing from a beer drink at Lupinyu Night Club and one of them who police said is yet to be iden­ti­fied died on the spot.

Some were trans­ferred to the United Bu­l­awayo Hos­pi­tals while some are ad­mit­ted to Vic­to­ria Falls Hos­pi­tal.

Na­tional police spokesper­son As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Paul Ny­athi said: “I can con­firm that there were two ac­ci­dents that killed five peo­ple in Vic­to­ria Falls. Pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions show that the driv­ers were at­tempt­ing to over­take other ve­hi­cles,” he said.

A dark cloud hov­ered around Monde Vil­lage dur­ing the burial of Mrs Sibanda and her daugh­ter who were buried side by side and Mrs Moyo who was buried at her homestead. Mr Khu­malo was buried in Si­dobe as the com­mu­nity turned out in num­bers for the buri­als.

Speak­ers at all the buri­als called for ur­gent mea­sures to end im­moral­ity.

“Drunk driv­ing and pres­ence of un­li­censed driv­ers are a cause for con­cern on our roads. As res­i­dents and lead­ers we are dis­ap­pointed and would want to meet police and or­gan­is­ers of the car­ni­val so that some things are re­vis­ited. Be­sides drunk­en­ness, there is also the is­sue of nu­dity which char­ac­terised the streets dur­ing the car­ni­val. If bars have time to close why do we al­low drunken peo­ple driv­ing through­out the night?” said Hwange West Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, Mr God­frey Dube.

Speak­ing at one of the buri­als, Vic­to­ria Falls Mayor Coun­cil­lor Somvelo Dlamini also con­demned im­moral be­hav­iour and drunk driv­ing ex­hib­ited by peo­ple who at­tend the car­ni­val.

@ncubeleon

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