Eight members of the Rutsito family, seven from the Chitimbe family and three people, who are still to be identified, died in a horrific road accident Sunday afternoon in Mutoko.
Both families are from Mutoko.
The accident occurred along the Harare-Nyamapanda highway when the Isuzu KB double cab truck belonging to the Rutsito family and travelling towards Murewa, collided head-on with a BMW in which the Chitimbe family had boarded a lift that was travelling towards Mutoko.
Fourteen people died on the spot, while the remainder succumbed to their injuries on admission to Mutoko Hospital.
The director in the Department of Civil Protection Nathan Nkomo said the government will assist in the burial of the deceased.
“For those with funeral policies, government will assist with $2 500 per head and for those without funeral policies, the government will avail coffins and transport,” he said.
“To those who are currently hospitalised, the government will assist by meeting all the medical bills.”
A member of the Rutsito family in Mutoko, Munyaradzi Kabasa, confirmed that eight members of his family died in the crash.
“We are pained by this unexpected death which took away eight people from our family. Masimba Rutsito was my brother and was aged 39. He and his family had come home to visit from Harare. On their way back, that is when they met their fate.
“He was driving the Isuzu double cab and in the car were 12 people who included his wife Audrey Mavhunga, his children — Malcom, Naishe and Makomborero. Also in the car was our uncle, Simbarashe Mapuranga and his wife Grace Madzinga together with their child, Samuel. All these perished in the accident.
“Those who were injured are Kupakwashe and Maxwell Rutsito, Patricia Mapuranga and one Gamuchirai who was a maid to Masimba’s family.
“They have been transferred to Parirenyatwa hospital and they are critical. They need our prayers. We are in great pain.”
The Chitimbe family lost six members — Abigail Chitimbe (30), Nyasha Chikuza (7), Tawananyasha, Major Mushumbi (7), Sandra Kanobata (19) and Ngaakudzwe Nkolomah (1).
Chitimbe family spokesperson Richard Chitimbe said they have already finished burial arrangements.
“My sister Abigail and her two children Nyasha and Tawananyasha had visited a relative in Tabudirira, a few kilometers from here. She took with her, three of my elder sister’s children Major, Sandra and Ngaakudzwe.
“On their way back, they were given a lift in a BMW vehicle which had a head on collision with an Isuzu vehicle. They all died. The family is in pain. We were looking forward to seeing them here yesterday, only to receive the bad news.
The Mashonaland East Department of Civil Protection has requested the government to declare the accident, a national disaster.