Reporter for the Columbus Mabica Herald
In Zimbabwe, road accidents occur every 15 minutes, killing 5 people and injuring 120 every day.
The statistics were released yesterday at Zimbabwe’s 7th Annual General Meeting of the Transport Safety Committee (TSCZ) in Harare.
Deputy Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Cde Mike Madiro, who delivered a keynote address during the conference, said the current road fatality rate was too high to be acceptable.
“We cannot accept and accept the fact that there is a road accident every 15 minutes across the country, five people die and at least 120 are injured every day,” he said.
“This has to stop, and it has to stop now. Road massacres are a silent, forgotten epidemic, and we must all act.”
He said the government was working to reduce road accidents by 50 per cent as detailed in the Economic Blueprint National Development Strategy 1, adding that combating road accidents was a collective responsibility.
“We strongly support the efforts of TSCZ and other road safety stakeholders to reduce the number of road deaths.
“We also believe in a safe system that recognizes that everyone, including those who design, build, operate and use road systems, has a responsibility for road safety,” he said.
In a clear demonstration of taming the traffic jungle, the government has undertaken massive road construction, repair and maintenance.
“The utility and value of these infrastructure investments and developments can only be seen in terms of how they transform the livelihoods of our people, not as their death traps,” he said.
Mr. Kura Sibanda, Chairman of the TSCZ Board of Directors, said his organization has carried out several awareness campaigns across the country to educate road users on safety.
“We’ve deployed a number of officers to work with police to educate the public not to speed, to travel cautiously during the day as most accidents happen at night, and various other activities aimed at promoting safety on our roads,” he said.
Mr. Munesushe Munodawafa, TSCZ managing director, said plans to transform TSCZ into a traffic safety agency empowered to enforce certain traffic laws are now at an advanced stage. He said the move was aimed at improving road compliance.