TRAGEDY struck twice for one family as the death toll in the accident that claimed the lives of Dynamos supporters rose to eight yesterday after another fan, Galelio Tinashe Muchemwa, succumbed to injuries at Parirenyatwa Hospital.
Muchemwa (22) was transferred to the hospital on Saturday with head injuries after the tragic accident along the Harare-Bulawayo Road near Battlefields in Kadoma when a vehicle they were travelling in burst its rear tyre and overturned.
His half brother, Spencer Gwasira, was among seven people who died on the spot.
And yesterday, as the family was preparing to leave for their rural home in Murehwa for Gwasira’s funeral, a phone call was received alerting them of the depressing news.
Gwasira and Muchemwa were born to the same mother, but different fathers in a family of three.
The deceased’s eldest sister, Antoneta Gwasira-Ncube, who is now the only surviving member in the family, yesterday confirmed the sad news and narrated how they were finding it difficult to come to terms with the double tragedy.
“It’s difficult to accept. We are still in a state of shock as a family. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see him in hospital at the weekend because of the situation that we were in.
“So I spoke to him on the phone and he assured us that he was out of danger. He even asked about Baba Maria (Gwasira) but we couldn’t tell him what had happened to his brother.
“Now we hear that he is gone as well. It’s very sad. Our parents died a few years ago and I am now the only member of the family left,” said Ncube.
Gwasira left behind a wife, Mercy Muberekwa, and three minors while Muchemwa was still single.
Mourners had to split into two groups for the two funerals.
Ncube said Muchemwa’s body was due for an autopsy with burial expected to take place in Murehwa tomorrow.
Police yesterday confirmed that five of the accident victims had been positively identified by their families while two bodies were still unclaimed at Kwekwe General Hospital. The dead were identified as Peter Maemba (50), Spencer Gwasira (32), Rukudzo Mahwupete (43), Prince Nheweyembwa (34) and Rust Nezandonyi (29).
Police chief spokesperson Charity Charamba yesterday appealed to people missing their relatives to come and help with the identification of the remaining bodies.
Charamba also expressed regret at the accident and urged drivers to be cautious on the road.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to inform the nation that five of the victims of a fatal road traffic accident which occurred on 11 June 2016 at the 173km peg along Harare-Bulawayo Road near Battlefields in Kadoma have been identified by their next of kin,” she said.
“Police are appealing for those who are missing their relatives to proceed to Kwekwe General Hospital and identify the unidentified two bodies.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is deeply concerned with the loss of lives in road accidents. We are urging motorists to avoid speeding and to exercise caution when driving.”
The Dynamos supporters were travelling to Gweru to watch their team play Chapungu in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Ascot on Saturday.
DeMbare won the match 2-1 courtesy of goals from Masimba Mambare and rookie forward King Nasama, whose mother was also injured in the accident.
The injured supporters were taken to Kwekwe General Hospital and were later transferred to Harare Hospital and Parirenyatwa at the intervention of National Football Association president Philip Chiyangwa.
Some have been discharged after receiving treatment but others are still admitted.
Dynamos supporters have mobilised themselves to conduct hospital visits and to visit the bereaved families.
They were joined yesterday by the team’s coach Lloyd Mutasa and his assistant Murape Murape and supporters and officials from other teams, notably CAPS United board chairman Lewis Uriri and Cuthbert Chitima, who made cash contributions to the families.
Three of the victims — Gwasira, Maemba and Nheweyembwa — were expected to be buried yesterday.
Dynamos supporters’ national chairman Philmon Bonde said they had to split their membership into batches for the funerals.
“This is a sad chapter for Dynamos. Naturally it’s hard to accept death. We are pained to the bone that we have lost close friends and colleagues, but I believe it was an act of God.
“We are expecting three burials on the same day in three different areas.
“We have people going to Murehwa for Nheweyembwa and Gwasira’s burials. Some are expected to go to Zvimba for Maemba’s burial and others may go to Chimanimani for Nezandonyi’s burial.
“Mahwupete’s burial is likely on Tuesday (today) in Mhondoro and we should also have a group to accompany the family,” said Bonde.