Accident22Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) says government should explain to the victims and the families of the dead victims the decision to lift the ban imposed on affected bus operators by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA).

The Minister of Transport and Communications Hon. Kapembwa Simbao has with immediate effect lifted the suspension of Bus Operating Licenses for WADA CHOVU, Mazhandu Family Bus Services and Mr Aubrey Membe Bus Services which RTSA suspended following the fatal crashes that left 31 people dead and many others serious injured.

Zambia Road Safety Trust Chairman, Daniel Mwamba said:

“The Honourable Minister should give a clear explanation why he has lifted this ban and assure citizens of their road safety. A road death is not like a normal death. It is a violent death – as violent as murder, and like murder, totally unexpected. The bereaved need help, support and assurance that their suffering will not be repeated.”

The ZRST is aware that inappropriate speed contributes highly to road crashes in our country ‘excessive speed’, when the speed limit is exceeded. In 2015, over 2000 people were killed. The bus drivers who are travelling at inappropriate speeds are more likely to crash and their higher speed means that the crash will cause more severe injuries, to themselves and/or to other road users. Inappropriate speed also magnifies other driver errors, such as driving too close or driving when tired or distracted, multiplying the chances of these types of driving causing an accident.

Road fatalities, injury and trauma have significant impact not just on the people directly involved but on their friends, families and communities. The estimated annual economic cost of road crashes in Zambia conservatively sits at 1-2% of our GDP. The cost includes delays and disruption to all users on the road networks, loss of productivity and the diversion of health resources to these avoidable events. However, it is social costs that are most significant as the loss of lives; personal pain and trauma have lasting impact on victims, families and communities.

And NAREP has released the following statement:

NAREP PRESS STATEMENT ON GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE WITH RATSA OPERATIONS

We are very saddened that within 48hrs the government was quick to lift the suspension of road service licences for the three operators which were suspended.

This is a clear sign of interference by government in the operations of RATSA. We therefore want to know what interest government has in this matter because their quick action to reverse RATSA decision is very suspicious and does not in any way promote road safety.

RATSA has a mandate to regulate and issue licences to these operators. If government continues with interfering with RATSA operations, more lives will be lost. They should not politicise even the safety of the people.

We therefore commend the board and RATSA management for the action they took and the work they are doing to reduce these road carnages where a lot of people have lost lives. The government should therefore stop taking politics to RATSA so that they can operate independently.

We are very aware that the accident is caused by an individual driver but the operator has a duty to maintain a good safety record. If we start separating a driver from operators, it will mean that drivers will behave as they wish since they are charged alone and operators will not care for peoples safety as they will know that only the drivers will be charged and they will remain operating freely. This is the reason RATSA is mandated by law to regulate both the driver and the operator and the two cannot be separated.

Issued by

Frank Sichone
Mkushi North Aspiring Candidate
21st April, 2016

[Read 55 times, 1 reads today]
Loading...

26 COMMENTS

  1. Why is it always NGOs and aspiring candidates hitherto unknown opposition outfits taking government to task over important matters? Could this be the confirmation of a lack of qualified members of parliament? Scared you will loose your measly gratuity that you have little knowledge how to manage!? This is a disgusting state of affairs and I loathe the day that any change will be made to lower the qualification of lawmakers! Pathetically disgusting!

    0

    0
    • Ka-Simbao kalilyamo. If an autonomous agency can issue a ban and the PF govt, before the ban takes effect, reverses it then we know that the same applies to the ECZ’s adamant decision to print those ballot papers in Dubai. The PF have an interest in it! We can’t continue with this. We want independent agencies to start working independently.

      0

      0
    • It would seem some of the transporters affected by the ban have been benefactors of the ruling party and they threatened to withdraw their funding. It is also rumoured other transported had threatened to cripple the transport system by parking their buses in solidarity.

      0

      0
    • Do they have laws in Zambia that allow suing some of these stupid ministers? If so can someone sue these *****s please? The lawyers out there representing the victims’s families need to sue the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Make them pay a hefty settlement for every life that was lost , and all the others that were injured in that senseless accident. Maybe then, they would get it.

      0

      0
  2. This is what happens when the country lacks good governance remember the Zambeef debacle it disappeared like a fart in the wind; Zambian Institutions are too weak….the transport sector is regulated by the elite who own these buses and trucks.

    0

    0
  3. This is interference by the Minister who is not an expert in Road Safety. RATSA must be left to operate independently, human beings are not pigs!! Frustrating the efforts by RATSA to reduce road accidents will not help the general public. The operators are failing to adress the underlying causes of these accidents becuse they do not have the safety management systems in place.

    0

    0
  4. Its regrettable that lives of our late dear brothers & sisters have been lost. May their souls rest in peace. What are the road service licenses to do with over speeding of criminal drivers? We are talking about fighting poverty and development & at same time RTSA is suspending licenses which they freely & legally issued after fulfilling requirements. Is it entire fleet which was over speeding or one bus out of several? Its the same RTSA which produces poorly (quarter) baked drivers, supervises & give them to innocent operators, so why blame them instead of RTSA accepting responsibility in full. How many other workers & their families, commuters are dependent on these buses? RTSA, drivers involved & operators are answerable but not road service licenses. Good move Hon. Minister, RTSA is…

    0

    0
    • Good move Hon. Minister, RTSA is playing to the gallery for amusement of NAREP & ZRST.

      0

      0
  5. Let us not react with emotion here. Blaming the operators only is not the solution. We need a thorough investigation using proper tools for such to find long term solutions. Ndola-Lusaka road is a death trap. Private vehicles, trucks, etc are involved in accidents almost daily on this road. We lost friends in the Postbus accident. We still need answers. RTSA by suspending these operators is trying to run away from the real problem.

    0

    0
  6. i did not want to comment on this, but then we need to look at some of the reasons advanced by RATSA for suspending the licence.
    One of them was that they were question the drivers licences yet RATSA is the one that issues licences, the other reason was that RATSA investigated and found that some accidents were due to excessive speed, this to me or any one was hollow, for RATSA could have stated what speed these busses were running at.
    There could be other reasons i may have forgotten but when i saw the CEO for RATSA trying to explain why he had suspended the licences i wondered for some of the reasons given were not convincing and he looked like he had not even mastered the statement he was reading.
    so i fell it was in the Ministers powers to act.
    luke

    0

    0
  7. Country men & women! This is utter nonsense for a GRZ (pf) of the day to begin using some autonomous bodies to be working to their own set merit goals. This is pure corruption by these patriotic fools (pf) for simbao & lungu to poke their nose into RATSA’s business. Pliz you patriotic fools out their be cautioned that Zambia is not annimal farm & very soon you il be caught shi.ting, because all the data pertaining to this saga has been corrected & so soon RATSA wil have a comprehensive statement. Therefore, as a Zambian United Nation we’re very much ready to kick yo damn black ass.es just come 11.08 this very year, viva HH+UPND!

    0

    0
  8. On this one Simbao was wrong and it shows that the man does not care about loss of life. He worries me but on the other hand I am comforted because he is an opportunist was he not in MMD just recently. Trust not people like him.

    0

    0
  9. it is sad that power lies everywhere with everyone….Mr Sibao do what is honourable not what you have done on this one, you have missed a mark and therefore you qualify for now to be called a misleader

    0

    0
  10. The truth is that Zambian Public /Private Bus Transport needs to be overhauled totally. The bus service is appalling and that’s not even taking in consideration, the Drunk/Drugged Bus Runners shouting “Kwela, Kwela” to people passing by. They literally drag you into the bus.

    Most Drivers are also Drunk or Drugged ( sometimes both)! These characters are Man made not God made for sure! They speed along without a care in the world except filling their bus and pocket. The only effective ban is a total removal of the Breed.

    0

    0
  11. #chilyata if investigations (I mean proper investigations not rantings by zindaba soko) were carried out what were the findings? I don’t think that report says just suspend operator licences then the problem will go away. Action, you are right my bululu, is needed but this should be informed by proper evaluation not emotion. This is a serious socio-economic matter.

    0

    0
  12. PF will do anything to stay in power, even sacrifice more zambians to traffic accidents.

    0

    0
  13. Ba RTSA may have made the decision with out consulting or involving the Minister of transport. this is what usually happens even when bus fares are hiked without any green light from govt. Additionally Govt should with draw some of the things like buying a Toll fee from RTSA by foreign transpoters and hand over the responsibilty to NRF who have proved to be effective in issuing out Toll Gate receipts to Motorists.At the moment there is too much delays at RTSA even to extend a toll fee for an extra journey it’s a hassle.Driving licences it’s a hassle also to get it in time.Excuses range from system is down and all other sorts of excuses.

    0

    0
  14. Am convinced that to dis-Honourable Simbao, the passengers’ deaths were mere statistics. It takes a kind, caring person to feel the loss by others. Truth is, some of our reps do not have such hearts!

    0

    0
  15. Shameless! This is not the first time a ban on coach operators haas been lifted after an accident! If bans were imposed maybe the operators would take the safety of passengers more seriously and make it a priority. RTSA took the right step to ban the coach operators. Simbao lifted the ban. Why? He either has a vested interest or he was bribed. He should realize that agencies should be left to do their work. This is authoritarian behavior and sadly that is what we have come to. Meanwhile RTSA should come up with ways of reducing accidents on Zambian roads which have been on the increase.

    0

    0

Comments are closed.