Upgrade roads to curb road carnage: Citizens

Zimbabwe recorded a 50 percent decline in the number of deaths due to road accidents during this year’s festive season compared to the same period in 2012- 2013.

National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi told government media that 81 people died and 461 others were injured in 880 recorded accidents countrywide compared to 161 who died during the same period last year.

Nyathi confirmed that the number of accidents recorded dropped from 1 008 recorded in 2012 to 908 recorded so far this year during the festive season. The ZRP considers December 15 to January 15 to be the festive season.

Contacted for comment by The Zimbabwean, Nyathi refused to confirm these figures despite promising to avail the latest aggregated statistics.

Several calls to Nyathi yielded no results as he kept telling our reporter to call later. “We are still compiling the statistics, can you please call me after an hour,” he said. An hour later, his mobile went unanswered.

At 16: 30 One officer in the ZRP Press office only identified as Assistant Inspector Chitsike said Nyathi had knocked off.

A quick survey done by The Zimbabwean in Harare and Chitungwiza revealed that citizens attributed road accidents to lack of maintenance.

Bornface Magora from Harare said poor road networks coupled by vehicles which are no longer roadworthy contributed to road carnages.

“Some of our roads are too old and should be reconstructed,” he said.

Magora added that in previous years, road accidents were also caused by too much excitement during the holidays and drunken driving.

Chitungwiza resident, Tawanda Makocherwa said the tendency by commuter omnibus operators to overload passengers increased the number of people who died because of road accidents.

“The tendency by public transport operators to overload passengers attributed to the high number of deaths.

“When a commuter omnibus is involved in an accident with 10 or so more people than the stipulated passengers, those people are at risk of dying or being injured because that vehicle is meant for a certain number of passengers,” he said.

Catherine Murombo from Kuwadzana in Harare is of the view that the majority of road accidents are caused by overspeeding on poor roads.

Said Murombo: “Public trans[port operators are in the habit of wanting to maximise on profits and they take advantage of the festive season to make money.

“They are always overspeeding forgetting that the roads are in a poor state," she said.

Annie Nyirenda, a university student called on the law enforcement agents to continue their heavy presence on the country’s roads throughout the year.

“If they (ZRP) continue doing their work without being corrupt, we are assured of safe travel. If they accept bribes, then we will continue having a lot of accidents,” she said, adding that the relevant authorities should continue with their awareness campaigns.

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