A very senior government officials has told the Watchdog that government lacks capacity to respond to emergences like the accident that claimed 53 lives in Chibombo on Thursday.
Meanwhile, internatioanl media such as BBC, have blamed the accident on ‘Poorly maintained and overloaded vehicles [which] are commonplace in Zambia.
53 people have been comfirmed dead after the Lusaka bound Postbus collided with a truck belonging to Congolese trucking company Hermis. The bodies of the deceased and a few survivors have been rushed to Liteta and Kabwe general hospitals.
The accident happened at John Chinena area near Chibombo involving a Mercedes Benz Postbus registration number ABV 4020, which collided with another Mercedes Benz truck registration number 1791AB05 and trailers number 1792AB05 and 1793AB05 believed to be heading to DRC.
According to eye witnesses, the accident happened after the driver of the bus tried to avoid hitting into an oncoming Toyota Land cruiser which was overtaking the truck. Traffic between Lusaka and Kabwe was suspended for over 3 hours as the road was blocked by the wreckage.
An on the scene check by the watchdog found soldiers and policemen busy trying to retrieve bodies from the mangled vehicles, to the appreciation of onlookers who said unlike the last time when a Juldan bus was engulfed in flames at Chindwin barracks soldiers instead of saving lives, started taking pictures of the event. The scam was exposed on the watchdog but received criticism from the men in uniform.
And a very senior government official found at the scene has admitted that the government lacks ability to respond to such emergencies. The official who opted for anonymity said if there was quick response to the accident, probably some lives could have been saved. He has also cautioned road users to be safety conscious every time they use the road.
There has been an increase on road fatalities in the nation especially in the last one year and this has led to some sectors of society calling for spiritual intervention. Government’ position on the road fatalities still remains unclear.