Government has declared a state of national disaster the accident in which 46 people were killed when two buses side-swiped at the 166-kilometre peg along the Harare-Mutare highway on Wednesday evening.
The accident involved Bolt Cutter and Smart Express buses.
Declaring an accident a state of national disaster enables the State to mobilise resources to assist the injured and bereaved families with cash and burial arrangements.
Government has since provided $25 000 towards the victims of the accident.
The Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ)will settle all hospital bills, while FSG and Nyaradzo Funeral Services will assist with coffins and transporting the deceased to their final resting places.
The total monetary assistance to each bereaved family is $1 350.
This comes as President Mnangagwa called for a robust response from traffic enforcement agents to put an end to rampant lawlessness on the country’s roads.
In his condolence message, the President said he had learnt with deep sadness of the death of 46 innocent souls, saying the fact that many lives were lost in just one traffic accident raised serious questions about the behaviour of drivers on the country’s roads, especially those operating passenger service vehicles.
The use of vehicles that are not roadworthy, or drivers who do not seem to care for passenger safety, amount to criminal breach of trust between bus operators and paying commuters who expect and deserve safe transit,” he said.
“Both the responsible ministry and our law enforcement agents must use this bloody accident to close in on all bus operators, drivers and road users who put profit and speed above life, thus causing avoidable carnage on our roads.”
He said the lawlessness now evident on the country’s highways and dense urban roads must be met with a robust response from traffic enforcement agents whose duty is to ensure a culture of compliance and safety on the roads.
President Mnangagwa added, “In view of the magnitude of the loss of human life in this one incident, I have since directed that the responsible ministry takes steps to declare this accident a national disaster in order to enable the mobilisation of resources both for treatment of all those injured, and for support to families which have lost their loved ones.”
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also sent his condolence message urging drivers to exercise caution on the road.
On behalf of the people of South Africa, we send our deepest condolences to the Zimbabwean Government particularly the families who
lost their loved ones. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and we wish you (people of Zimbabwe) strength during this time of grief,”
President Ramaphosa was quoted as saying by CAJ News Agency.
He appealed to motorists travelling between Zimbabwe and South Africa to always exercise caution on the roads to avoid carnage,
which he said had robbed families of their breadwinners.
“Road carnages rob us of our breadwinners and delay our family developments,” he said.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo said the scale of the tragic loss of life was unacceptably high.
“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved. I have ordered the civil protection structures at Rusape and Manicaland Province to swiftly and compassionately attend to the affected. The Civil Protection Directorate is working with the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe on the assistance to be rendered to the bereaved. All necessary measures will be taken to assist the affected,” he said.
Yesterday Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Cde Joel Biggie Matiza and Manicaland Minister of State Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba visited the Rusape bus accident scene and the injured at Rusape General Hospital.