Calls for strict penalties on kombis intensify

HARARE - Roads accidents have claimed 546 lives since January, raising alarm among stakeholders, who yesterday called for harsher penalties on commuter omnibuses.

Speaking at nationwide march against road carnage yesterday Ernest Muchena, product development and marketing manager for the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe said 546 people died in 399 fatal accidents countrywide from January to April.

Since January there has been a total of 12 954 accidents which have left 4 733 people injured.

Petronella Kagonye, the deputy minister of Transport said road accidents are avoidable.

“Road traffic crash is a total loss unless something useful can be learned from it,” said Kagonye.

“These figures are disturbing and every road safety stakeholder must learn from the road crashes so as to be able to avoid them,” she added.

Kagonye, who spoke on behalf his boss Obert Mpofu, said her ministry was putting in place stern measures in order to curb road carnage.

The ministry has promised the nation that they will ensure that all the commuter omnibus operators who would have failed to comply with the road traffic laws will be punished.

“My ministry shall step up collaborative efforts to ensure that all those who fail to comply with the road traffic laws are brought to book,” said Kagonye.

Kagonye also tore into public transport operators whom she accused of deliberately employing unqualified drivers in order to cut costs.

She said the Chitungwiza-bound kombi that killed 10 people recently had neither a passenger-liability insurance cover nor a route authority as outlined in Section 7 of the Road Motor Transportation Act.

“Every individual, family village, church and media house must be road safety conscious and walk the talk about making our roads much safer for use by everyone eligible,” she said

Comments (7)

Seven kombi passengers died yesterday near Westely - Bulawayo road, we continue to lose lives, kumanya handikusvika. Life is worth more than money, a 5 rand trip is costing someone a life, this does not equate, if you put 5 rand times 18 people, you get 9 dollars, compare 7 lives to which is $3,50, this money cannot be compared to someones life. The ministry of transport has a task at hand, to bring in new buses that are driven safely to from the cbd to residential areas or we continue to mourn our beloved through these death traps.

tichaona - 5 June 2014

stiff penalties for those operators and even individuals who break the law. Government should then make it easier for people to get necessary licenses and tests. If it is convenient to get a license, no one would have to bribe an official to keep breaking the law.

umpire - 5 June 2014

If we say any kombi found operating against traffic and other laws must juts be impounded and crushed to scrap metal and the owner given a certain minimum sentence with his crew in jail. This madness will stop immediately.

wamaromo - 5 June 2014

Noah Haisi Kombi...uyezve tinoda kugara 3 3 mumakombi...No Conductors, that way tinoita order coz hapana anenge achiita competition neumwe yekuloader pamushika shika...install Automated Speed Traps everywhere...

SoWhat! - 5 June 2014

Kombis are a law unto themselves. We hv road regulations formulated to safeguard our citizens. However kombi drivers do not follow any of the laid down traffic regulations. They stop anywhere though dangerous n ignore the sanctity of peoples' lives. Harsher penalties are urgently needed to rid our roads of this TRAFFIC JUNGLE.

SANDILE NARE - 5 June 2014

Top police officials own kombis.Their kombis are not stopped at road blocks.The drivers of these kombis are untouchable hence competition on the roads.We have heard these statements about harsher penalties countless times,but nothing happens,only to hear them again when there is another fatal accident.

chimuti - 6 June 2014

gadzirisai nzira dzenyu kete kungoti makombi makombi. ndo aita sei, hw many years using them motanga kutaurisa nhasi

SABHUKU - 8 June 2014

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