HARARE – In yet another horror accident on Zimbabwe’s jungle roads, seven Dynamos Football Club supporters died on the spot along the Harare-Bulawayo highway yesterday when the minibus taxi they were travelling in burst a tyre and veered off the road before overturning at Battlefields.
The fans were travelling to Gweru where the Glamour Boys, Zimbabwe’s most successful and followed football club, was playing Chapungu in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Ascot Stadium.
Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the fatalities yesterday saying: “The accident occurred near Battlefields Police Station (before Kwekwe).
“As police, we are worried with people who are using tyres which are not roadworthy. We want to urge people to desist from this habit.”
Yesterday’s accident came exactly a week after 15 people perished along the Mutare-Chimanimani Road, following a head-on collision.
That crash occurred after another minibus taxi travelling from Mutare burst a tyre before colliding with a Nissan Caravan on its way from Marange.
Although Dynamos proceeded to play their match yesterday, club president Kenni Mubaiwa, board member Bernard Marriot and National Football Association of Zimbabwe (Nafaz) president, Philip Chiyangwa, visited the accident scene.
“I’m very saddened because of this loss that has befallen the Dynamos family, at a time when football fans in general are still celebrating Zimbabwe’s qualification for the 2017 Afcon finals in Gabon.
?“We are now trying to get in touch with the families of the deceased and those injured to see how we can assist them in this difficult moment,” Chiyangwa said.
“This is a great loss to the Dynamos family. We were hoping they were going to be with us in Gweru to support the team.
“Their support was going to help the team get a good result and push us to try and win the championship back,” Mubaiwa said.
Motorists and commuters alike have increasingly become very fearful of using the country’s roads, with statistics from the Traffic and Safety Council of Zimbabwe indicating that at least five people die in vehicle accidents every day.
While many of the accidents are said to be a result of human error related to speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol, the bad state of roads and faulty motor vehicles is also contributing to the carnage.