Harare (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday sent condolence message to families of 35 people who died in a bus crash in Chimanimani and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
The accident, which happened on Thursday night, left 35 Zion Christian Church members dead while several others sustained serious injuries.
In a statement, President Mnangagwa said he has since directed the government to declare the accident a national disaster to facilitate the fundraising of resources to assist the affected families.
“That this bloody traffic accident took place on the eve of both our Easter and Independence Holidays when there is increased movement across the country, adds to my anxiety.
“The dead and injured were members of the Zion Christian Church, ZCC, who looked forward to an incident-free fellowship with their brethren in commemorating the Crucifixion of Christ. Today the Zion Christian Church, bereaved families and our Nation at large are in deep mourning. It is a very inauspicious beginning to what should have been both a solemn religious break and a joyous celebration of our National Day, “he said.
He said government would carry the cost related to funerals and care of the injured.
“In the wake of the tragic traffic mishap, I have since directed Government to declare this accident a National Disaster thus paving way for the mobilisation of resources and assistance in support of the affected families and communities,” President Mnangagwa said.
“This action places all the costs related to funerals, and to the care of the injured on Government”, he said.
President Mnangagwa urged all motorists to exercise caution as people travel to various destinations over this festive period.
“This bus disaster is bad enough for us already; we do not need to make the holiday any bloodier through sheer recklessness on our roads.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police will be out in full force to act against anyone breaking traffic rules, in the process endangering themselves and innocent road users,” he said.
According to the police, the driver of the bus lost control of the bus before it fell into a gorge.