One of the victims of the accident involving Ronsil Transport’s Scania Marcopolo bus Reg No. ABA 4611 died at the UTH in the late afternoon hours of Friday, 13th of December, 2013.
The Malawian, Mrs Martha Mvula-Duma was one of the 54 victims who sustained serious injuries when the bus fell into
a deep ditch at Luangwa bridge along the Great East Road on Friday night of 30th November, 2013 around 19:30hrs and had to be air-lifted by a Zambia Air Force helicopter to the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. She was on her way from Lusaka to Lilongwe via Chipata on that fateful night.
Meanwhile, nine relatives of the deceased Malawian woman are stranded with the dead body of their dearly departed in
Chipata. This follows a disagreement between the relatives of the deceased and the authorities of Ronsil Transport. The bus company is supposed to assist with the repatriation of the deceased’s body back to Malawi, up to the place of burial in Euthini, in Malawi’s Northern region’s Mzimba district. Ronsil Transport provided a closed van with no windows (suitable for carrying bread for distribution) to carry the coffin, luggage, as well as all the nine relatives of the deceased, who strongly refused to be transported in the vehicle.
The Ronsil Transport’s authorities then agreed to transport
the dead body alone in the van, while the deceased’s
relatives were put on one of their (Ronsil’s) public buses
which was transporting passengers from Lusaka to Chipata.
The authorities of the bus company promised they would
provide the deceased’s nine relatives with a minibus in
Chipata, which would then proceed with the van (carrying
the deceased’s body) to Malawi.
After arriving in Chipata, Ronsil Transport hired a minibus to
transport the deceased’s nine relatives, but in a dramatic twist
of events, the authorities of Ronsil Transport decided that the
van carrying the deceased’s body should no longer proceed
to Malawi, saying it would be too costly for the company.
Instead, they (Ronsil Transport) said they would remove
some seats from the small minibus to accommodate the
coffin and all the luggage, and also to ‘squeeze’ the nine members of the bereaved family into the remaining space in the same minibus.
The bereaved opposed to this idea, and said they would
never allow the coffin to even be taken off the van. The driver
for Ronsil Transport, and his colleagues, went to seek the
assistance of the police on the matter-the police rebuked
them, telling them it was actually inappropriate for Ronsil
Transport to transport the bereaved on a public bus, saying
they should have been provided with more appropriate
The nine bereaved were forced to spend the night in Chipata,
in a sub-standard rest house, and are still stranded in