‘Govt to blame for Tsholotsho accident’

THE MDC has blamed the government for the death of 21 workers who perished in the Tsholotsho accident on Saturday, saying the Health ministry carelessly overloaded people and equipment in the vehicle.

BY SILAS NKALA

MDC Matabeleland North chairperson, Leonard Mhlanga said the party was deeply saddened by the deaths of members of the Matabeleland North malaria control team in a fatal road traffic accident while being ferried to work in an overloaded government truck along the Tsholotsho-Sipepa Road.

“We convey our deepest condolences to the bereaved families in the Lupane-Tsholotsho communities. We pray they find peace and comfort in the Lord during this difficult time. We also extend our sympathies to the injured workers, wishing them a speedy recovery,” he said.

“MDC is convinced that this tragedy could have been avoided, had it not been for gross negligence on the part of the Ministry of Health. Allowing a drunk driver to get behind the wheel and overloading the truck with both people and goods shows gross incompetence and how little government values human life.”

He said his party was calling for justice for the victims.

“We call for financial compensation to all the affected families who in one swoop have lost hardworking men and women, breadwinners, parents and loved ones.

“The MDC also takes this opportunity to remind the general public and motorists to practice extreme caution on the roads, particularly as we approach the festive season to avoid unnecessary loss of life,” Mhlanga said.

“Most importantly, we appeal to the government to urgently attend to the bad state of our roads which have become death traps for motorists.”

The remarks came after at least 30 survivors of the Tsholotsho road accident were discharged from hospital. This was confirmed by Matabeleland North provincial medical director, Nyasha Masuka on Monday.

The government has declared the accident a national disaster, meaning there will be State-assisted funerals for the deceased, while the injured would have their medical bills settled by the State.

Some of the deceased have been identied as Dumisani Ngwenya, Bonisani Moyo, Nyalani Mukulu, Mongikazi Tshabalala, Mlungisi Ndlovu, Thulani Murwira, Vusumuzi Ncube, Brendon Muvengwa, Khulekani Sibanda, Mthabisi Tshuma, Ntombezinhle Ngwenya, Vote Sibanda, Obey Moyo, Ben Tshuma, Elton Mpofu, Thabani Maphosa, Bolma, Bishop Ndlovu, Mxelelwa Donga and Soyaphi Dube.