Easter road toll rises

HARARE - Close to three dozen people died from road accidents in 24 hours across the country, as the Easter holidays take a bloody turn.

Shocked police say this is more than thrice last year’s figures.

Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said road accidents recorded from Friday morning to yesterday morning were already double last year’s statistics during the same period.

Nyathi said police had so far recorded 323 accidents, up from last year’s 152 during the same period.

“As at 9 am today, a total of 35 people had died, an increase from statistics recorded last year of 11 during the same period of time,” he said.

He blamed motorists, particularly private vehicle owners, whom he said were turning their cars into public transport for cash.

“We have impounded 60 vehicles for various defects and issued out 5 446 tickets to motorists,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s roads are turning into death traps, particularly during holidays due to a combination of poor state, bad driving and police corruption.

Police say they recorded over 250 deaths during the past Christmas season, which they declared the bloodiest ever.

Nyathi said most accidents were happening at night.

“We are worried about the behaviour of some of our drivers who are using their private vehicles as public transport and evading police roadblocks. Some of them are travelling at night to ensure that they are not caught by police officers,” Nyathi said. - Xolisani Ncube

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