Luangwa accident: Malawin dies; Ronsil sends body and relatives in closed van to Malawi

Luangwa accident: Malawin dies; Ronsil sends body and relatives in closed van to Malawi

The van carrying coffin and 9 relatives

The van carrying coffin and 9 relatives

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

transport.

 

The nine bereaved were forced to spend the night in Chipata,

in a sub-standard rest house, and are still stranded in

Chipata.

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