Government vows ‘radical’ response to road carnage, reckless driving

Joel Biggie Matiza

GOVERNMENT has vowed to employ “radical” steps to tame a road carnage that has claimed nearly 80 people in two bus accidents past two weeks, coupled with many more which have largely gone unreported in mainstream media.

This was revealed by Transport Minister Joel Biggie Matiza during a joint media briefing by Information, Local Government and Transport Ministers on what emerged from Tuesday’s cabinet deliberations.

“We are going to meet as disaster management committee led by Local Government Ministry, as an inter-ministerial committee involving all stakeholders to see that we deal with this issue,” Matiza said.

“Among other issues, enforcements, education and technology are some of the things that we will start to apply soon.

“We are taking this seriously as you can see that numbers, records of accidents are increasing by the day due to negligence and not abiding by the law.”

Minister Matiza said government was taking radical measures to deal with a disaster that has been blamed on driver negligence and lawlessness that has been displayed on the country’s roads.

Early this month, two buses collided in Rusape, killing 46 and maiming dozens more.

As if this was not enough disaster to worry about, 32 more died aboard a Musina bound bus in West Nicholson when the bus went up in smoke in what was blamed on an explosive luggage.

Both accidents have been declared national disasters.

Said Minister Matiza, “We will announce the raft of measures that we want to take, radical, because we cannot continue to have people dying on the roads.”

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said last week that police will be equipped with state of the art gadgets such as still cameras to help control wild forms of driving on the country’s roads as well as tame a devastating road carnage.

Government has also said it was going to increase the number of police traffic law enforcement details on major roads.

Meanwhile, Local Government Minister July Moyo said the process of DNA identification of the West Nicholson bus victims was still ongoing with assistance from National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Science Department.

“National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Science Department has taken blood samples of all victims’ relatives and the process of matching their DNA will begin this week.

“This process is expected to last not more than two weeks,” he said.