Fifteen Chisamba road accident victims have finally been laid to rest at the old St. Mary’s cementery in Kabwe today.
And government says the death of eighteen people arising from one accident was a big loss and tragedy not only to the bereaved families but the nation at large.
Speaking at the occasion of burial at the cemetery in Kabwe today, central province minister, Phillip Kosamu, said the loss of these lives was devastating and that it has happened barely eight weeks after another accident on the same road which claimed the lives over
“Most of these people were business men and women who were travelling to Lusaka to purchase merchandise for trade in Kabwe. They were on their way contributing to the economy of Kabwe and consequently to the nation as a whole,” Mr Kosamu reiterated.
Mr Kosamu said road safety, which includes issues such as road worthiness of vehicles, the state of the driver as well as obedience of the road traffic rules, was a responsibility of everyone to be adhered to in order to avoid accidents.
To the bereaved families, the Minister said the people of Kabwe and the nation at large share the pain, sorrows and grief on such huge loss, and assured them of government’s quick response of speeding up investigations to ascertain the cause of the accident.
And in a separate interview Kabwe Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Winston Makukula, said his organisation was badly hit because the majority of the commuters in the bus were community business people who were trying very hard to earn a living and fulfill the government’s wish of putting more money in people’s pockets.
Mr Makukula appealed to transport owners to join the Chamber and business Association so that they can work together in providing business skills and ethics that would help them achieve their business goals and targets without resorting to illegal or unauthorized means
of raising more money such as pirating, overloading and over speeding to make many trips.
He said the association has observed that there was too much drunkenness among public service vehicle drivers especially at night, adding that there were too many buses being driven by unlicensed conductors.
He appealed to the government to urgently work on the much needed dual carriageway between Lusaka and the Copper belt as the number of accidents on this road testifies to the urgent need to sort out the problem that traffic congestion has caused.
Presiding at the church service, Rev Timothy Chipyoka said the stretch between Kabwe and Liteta in Central Province has repeatedly been a scene of accident which should make the believers to declare the stopping over the power of the devil to rule over Zambia.
Rev Chipyoka urged the mourners to remain firm during this trying moment and look to God for the strength bearing in mind that everyone will die but each in the way God wants.
The death toll in the April 30 Chisamba accident rose to 18 by yesterday after the death of one victim who died at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka yesterday.
Fifteen out of the eighteen deceased were buried by government at a common burial site which took place at St. Mary’s Old Cemetery today in Kabwe, while the others have been buried by relatives elsewhere.