astern Province Minister Malozo Sichone this afternoon narrowly escaped death when the vehicle he was travelling in careered off the road after hitting a cyclist on the Chipata/Mfuwe road.
Mr Malozo and three others escaped unhurt in the accident which occurred about 3 kilometers from the Chipata central business district around 13:30 hours while the cyclist who was unconscious was rushed to Chipata General Hospital.
According to Eastern Province Administration Head Messenger Justine Mwale who was with the minister when the accident occurred said, the driver of the Mitsubishi Pajero registration number GRZ 131 lost control when he tried to avoid hitting the cyclist who wanted to make a turn at a junction with Katopola road.
Mr Mwale said the confused cyclist’s movements on the road also contributed to the vehicle driver hitting him as both eventually went the same direction.
He explained that the cyclist who was carrying a passenger ignored hooting by the driver of the minister’s vehicle, a situation that led to the accident.
He stated that the passenger of the bicycle escaped unhurt as he jumped off the bicycle.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Mwamba who rushed to the scene of the accident shortly after it occurred said Mr Malozo was involved in the mishap while on his way to the airport to escort Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba who was in the district to officially open a Youth training programme at Chiwoko’s Zambia National Service (ZNS)training camp in Chipata.
And Mr Mwamba bemoaned increased number of road traffic accident involving cyclists in Eastern province.
Mr Mwamba observed that the province had continued to be among the provinces with the highest rate of road traffic accidents.
He attributed the increased number of such accidents to the narrow state of the road which he said could not adequately accommodate increased traffic of both vehicles and cyclist.
The Permanent Secretary also noted that people were not observing traffic rules and regulations in the province.
However, Mr Mwamba disclosed that government intended to widen roads in future construction to address the situation.
He said for now, government was carrying out sensitization programmes through the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to teach the cyclists and other road users on the need to observe traffic rules and regulations