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21 killed in ‘bloody’ Easter

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TWENTY one people have died on the country’s roads during the Easter and Independence Day holidays, a figure that is way higher than the fatalities recorded during the same period last year.

LINDA CHINOBVA/
JUNIOR MOYO

Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi yesterday said the increase in the death toll was largely due to reckless driving.

“This year the death toll increased by 12 as we have so far recorded a total of 21 deaths while last year at the same period we recorded nine deaths caused by road accidents,” he said.

“The major cause of the road accidents is a result of careless driving.

“The accidents are mainly characterised by head-on collisions as a result of overtaking, driving at high speed and poor judgment.”

He said traffic police had been deployed to mount roadblocks in the country’s major roads so as to try and curb further loss of lives.

Nyathi said the most recent accident happened in the Midlands where two members of the same family died while 21 other passengers were seriously injured when a Toyota Coaster omnibus they were travelling in sideswiped with a Bravo bus at the 328km peg along the Harare-Bulawayo Highway at around 1am on Friday.

He said police were impounding all vehicles that were not fit for the roads.

“We are impounding all vehicles that are not roadworthy and so far 79 vehicles have been impounded for various defects and 22 167 tickets have been issued,” he said.

Seventy four road accidents have been recorded nationally up from 71 during the same period last year,” Nyathi said.

Manicaland province has had the most deaths from accidents with six followed by Mashonaland East with two deaths and Harare, the Midlands, Matabeleland North provinces with a combined 13 deaths.

Last year the police recorded a total of 424 road accidents countrywide during the Easter holidays, with 36 accidents being fatal.
Fifty people were killed while 273 were injured.

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