Road accidents that claimed the lives of at least nine people in Matabeleland North and Bulawayo on Sunday have blighted an otherwise peaceful campaign ahead of tomorrow’s harmonised elections.
Southern Eye Editorial
Eight Zanu PF supporters died after an accident along the Tsholotsho–Bulawayo Road when a truck ferrying people to a party meeting in Nyamandlovu veered off the road and overturned.
A Bulawayo-based journalist Busani Ncube also died on the spot when the vehicle he was driving collided with another as he drove towards Stanely Square for an MDC rally.
Another journalist, Nkululeko Sibanda, was seriously injured in the accident.
On Friday there were reports that 55 Zanu PF supporters returning from a rally addressed by President Robert Mugabe in Gweru were injured in an accident.
The campaigns have without a doubt generated a lot of interest among Zimbabweans and some people have tended to get carried away.
However, even with a day left before the decisive elections, we would like to urge people to remain calm.
Drivers, including those carrying people to rallies, must still observe traffic laws diligently and avoid being carried away in the euphoria.
Accidents involving overloaded trucks also raise questions about the effectiveness of police roadblocks that have been increased with the election campaigns.
Police must not have allowed a truck carrying more than 65 people to proceed to a place as far as Nyamandlovu.
The Gweru accident would also have been avoided had police done their job without fear or favour.
Political parties have been bussing people to rallies across the country as they try to prove that they have more followers than their rivals, but the fatal accidents have been a serious reality check.
Tomorrow’s elections are very important as they will determine who will rule Zimbabwe for the next five years, but they are certainly not worth dying for.