Classic recklessness

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HARARE – One of the survivors from Saturday’s minibus accident which claimed the lives of eight Dynamos fans says she tried to warn the driver of the vehicle but was ignored.

The supporters were travelling to Gweru to watch their side take on Chapungu in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Ascot Stadium when disaster struck near Battlefields, a few kilometres from Kwekwe along the Harare-Bulawayo highway.

The minibus burst a rear tyre before veering off the road and crashed killing seven passengers on the spot while another one passed away on Monday at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

DeMbare proceeded to play the match and collected all three points after goals from Masimba Mambare and King Nasama cancelled out the opener from Chapungu’s Hillary Mugoniwa.

Speaking at her Hopley home Nasama’s mother Shylet Tinonetsana, who survived the horror crash, narrated how the accident occurred.

“I think the problem which caused the accident is the fact the minibus’ rear axle had only one wheel on each side instead of two,” Tinonetsana said.

“Since I was seated in the back I could smell some burning rubber which meant that there was a problem with the tyres.

“I called out to the driver and the other passengers to stop singing so we could get to the bottom of the problem about the smell but I think only three minutes later that’s when the tyre burst.

“Of the five people who were seated at the back; myself and my friend survived the crash. Three others died on the spot.”

After the accident, injured survivors were rushed to Kwekwe and Kadoma general hospitals before they were transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare after the intervention of National Football Association President (Nafaz) Philip Chiyangwa and Dynamos officials, who rushed to the scene.

Yesterday, Chiyangwa and Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane visited Parirenyetwa where only one survivor Patience Marufu is still admitted.

The duo proceeded to Hopley where they also visited Tinonetsana.

Nasama’s mother praised Chiyangwa’s intervention as they had received limited assistance in Kwekwe.

“I’m very grateful to you president for being alive today,” Tinonetsana told Chiyangwa.

“We really appreciate the love you showed us during this difficult time. If you had not intervened and we had remained in Kwekwe; many more people would have passed away.”

The Nafaz president said he swiftly made the decision to have the survivors transferred to Parirenyatwa when he realised they were not getting any assistance in Kwekwe.  

“I arrived in Kadoma in the company of Dynamos officials; Kenni Mubaiwa and Bernard Marriot. We went to the mortuary where we saw the seven bodies of those who had passed away,” he said.

“We then proceeded to Kwekwe General Hospital and found out that doctors had not even attended to the injured survivors.

“That’s when I said ‘what’s the point of keeping patients at Kwekwe hospital where they are not being attended and their relatives are far away in Harare?’”

Hlongwane was disappointed with how survivors were neglected by the emergency service providers and will now engage his Cabinet colleagues to improve the response in this critical sector.

“If this is true, it should not have happened in the first place. I am going to be discussing with my colleague who is the Home Affairs minister (Ignatius) Chombo and president of Nafaz so that we design a template for sector-wide implementation,” Hlongwane said.

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