UPDATED: Beitbridge accident death toll rises to 9; police release victims’ names

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By Staff Reporter

THE death toll in the fatal road traffic accident involving two cross border buses that occurred early Saturday morning has risen from seven to nine. earlier reported that seven people had died while an undisclosed number sustained injuries after the buses collided head-on just after the tollgate plaza in Beitbridge.

The incident occurred near Tshamunanga area 12km north of Beitbridge town along the Beitbridge to Masvingo highway.
Witnesses said one of the buses hit a donkey and swerved to the oncoming traffic lane resulting in the tragedy.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the crash, putting the latest figure of casualties at nine.

“ZRP confirms a fatal road traffic accident which occurred on March 16, 2024 at around 0100hours at the 267 kilometre peg along Masvingo-Beitbridge road, in which nine people were killed whilst 39 others were injured when a Blue Circle bus and a City Bus were involved in a head-on collision,” said Nyathi.
Police identified five of the nine victims as the Blue Circle bus driver, Taurai Muketiwa (age not given), Netsai Mudarikwa (40) of Chegutu, Rangarirai Mbizvo (43) of Beitbridge, Miriam Majengu (age not given) of Macheke and Clever Chikare of Harare.
The other four victims are yet to be identified by their next of kin.

According to sources, the crash occurred when a City Bus coach travelling from Johannesburg enroute to Harare crashed into a Blue Circle bus coming from Karoi and heading to the border town.

It is said the fire brigade and ambulance services responded promptly to the disaster and managed to rescue and ferry the injured to Beitbridge District Hospital where some victims received treatment.

Some of the passengers on the buses reportedly sustained serious injuries, pointing to the possibility that the death toll could increase.

According to media reports, District Civil Protection Committee chairperson, Sikhangezile Mafu Moyo, who is also the District Development Coordinator,  hinted on the severity of injuries sustained by some victims.

Of the total 39 injured people, nine who were critical were transferred to United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), 12 were still admitted at Beitbridge District Hospital while 18 were treated and discharged.

Police appealed to drivers to avoid night driving as most accidents occur during this time owing to compromised visibility and observation challenges.