It is with sadness and sorrow that the nation recently went to bed with heavy hearts following an accdent which saw 20 lives being lost along Masvingo-Zvishavane highway in a crash involving a Toyota Granvia and Toyota Wish vehicles.
People still have mixed feelings over who to blame between the police and the travellers as well as the drivers of the two vehicles.
After the banning of intercity travel as a precautionary measure to control the spread of Covid-19, the police manning roadblocks allowed the vehicles to pass through and many believe that they were bribed
The vehicles did not only break lockdown regulations against intercity travelling but also pirating and overloading show evidence of corruption.
The number of people who lost their lives versus the carrying capacities of the two vehicles and the number of roadblocks they passed through is another indicator.
There are numerous roadblocks on the roads from Gutu where the other vehicle is reported to have been coming from and the police officers manning the roadblocks could have done something.
It’s sad to note that one of the victims was a police officer who was going back to work and in most cases the officers are used by the drivers to pass through roadblocks and this becomes an issue of concern.
However, blaming the police alone will be unjust. The people should play a role in serving their lives by avoiding unnecessary travelling as well as avoiding overloaded vehicles.
The pirating vehicles would sometimes also have genuine need to be travelling like to attend to funerals as with the case of the Granvia, but however, carrying a minimum number would be the way to go.
Should circumstances force one to travel, the travellers should ensure they are not overloaded as has been the norm with the Mushika shika.
Other stakeholders like the Vehicle Inspection Department (VED) should also join hands with the ZRP and the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) to ensure safety and sanity on the roads is restored and avoid loss of human life due to human error.
Imposing stiffer penalties on the traffic offenders as well as the police who are found on the other side of the law would be the way to go.