Harare – The government on Friday declared the bus accident which killed 35 people a national disaster, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has said.
In a statement, Moyo said the government will pay for funeral and medical expenses.
“I received with heartfelt grief the loss of 35 fellow citizens who succumbed due to this bus accident which occurred near Jopa in Chipinge around midnight on 14 April 2022.
“In terms of Section 27, Subsection (1) of the Civil Protection Act, Chapter 10.06 of 1989, His Excellency, the President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a State of Disaster regarding the road traffic accident to enable the State to meet the medical bills of the injured and render funeral assistance to the bereaved families.
“As provided in the above piece of legislation, the Government of Zimbabwe will meet the burial costs of all the deceased and provide medical assistance for the injured,” he said.
Moyo said a Command Centre had been established at Victoria Chitepo Hospital where bodies of the deceased persons are being collected and psychosocial support for the bereaved families is being provided.
“I would like to implore public transport operators to always exercise a high degree of caution and care on the roads. It is disheartening to note that, the bus was overloaded hence putting the lives of passengers at risk.
“Law enforcement agencies and responsible authorities will ensure that stringent measures are taken to deal with errant drivers along major highways. Culprits will face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
Police said the bus was carrying 107 Zion Christian Church congregants from Chimanimani, and fell into a valley near Jopa, Chipinge.
The cause of the accident is still being ascertained.