Bulawayo (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Sunday commended Sirizani Butau – the man who saved eight travelers from a bus accident inferno and promised to honor him for his selfless sacrifice.
Butau emerged a hero after removing at least 8 people from the burning bus following its collision with a fuel tanker.
Five people died while 66 others were injured on Christmas Eve when a bus they were travelling in burst into flames following a head-on collision with a fuel tanker a few kilometres outside the Eastern City of Mutare.
The bus, belonging to Beta transport company, was coming from Harare and was carrying 69 passengers.
Addressing the 2021 national thanksgiving and dedication service, President Mnangagwa said by putting his life at risk, Butau demonstrated Christ-like selflessness.
“In this spirit, allow me to recognise the heroism shown by Mr Sirizani Butau in his efforts to save the lives of passengers in the recent bus disaster that occurred in Mutare, on 24th December. He demonstrated Christ like selflessness, bravery and love, even at the risk of losing his own life. May God fill us as a nation, with this kind, “, said the President.
Meanwhile, Police said the death toll from the accident stood at five (5) while 41 people were treated and discharged and 25 are still hospitalized.
“Three (3) of the five (5) victims have been identified their relatives as Delan Ndoro of Mapfunde Village, Chief Zimunya, Mutare, Admire Mandeya of Nyatate Village, Chief Mutasa, Nyanga, Rufu Zambezi (48) of number 36 Glenora Drive, Harare. He was the fuel tanker driver, ” police said on Sunday.
Two other victims who were burnt beyond recognition are awaiting forensic test.
Police however said the driver of the bus was yet to be found amid reports that he vanished from the scene of the accident.
“Meanwhile, the owner of Beta buses Mr Muganda has offered to assist Police to locate his driver Philip Chiringo who disappeared from the scene after the accident.
“Police are still conducting investigations into the unfortunate fatal road traffic accident,” said spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.