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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

RTSA suspends Mazhandu operating system license

Headlines RTSA suspends Mazhandu operating system license

RTSA chief executive officer Zindaba Soko
RTSA chief executive officer Zindaba Soko

The Road Transport and Safety Agency has with immediate effect suspended the operating licence for accident prone Mazhandu Family Bus Services.

This was disclosed by RTSA Director and Chief Executive Officer Zindaba Soko during a news conference in Lusaka this morning.

Mr Soko said the Agency the Road Service Licence for Mazhandu has been suspended with immediate effect pending investigations into the recent road traffic accidents in which 10 people died in Kabwe.
He said the agency expects Mazhandu Family Bus to put in place necessary logistics and stop operations in the next 24 hours.

Mr Soko said RTSA will not leave this deteriorating road safety records for Mazhandu unchecked hence saying failure to act now risks losing more people in road accidents in future.

“You will recall that the Road Transport and Safety Agency had engaged Mazhandu Family Bus Services on several occasions in the past four years regarding the poor road safety profile which had resulted in a number of accidents with a lot of lives being lost. The Agency on 7th of April, 2016 wrote to Mazhandu Family Bus Services requesting the company to show cause why the Road Service Licence (RSL) should not be suspended or revoked after one of their buses registration number ALP 5119 was involved in a road traffic accident along Great North road in Kapiri Mposhi area with sixty-one passengers on Board. Five (05) passengers died on the spot and two (02) died afterwards bringing the total number of fatalities to seven (07),” he said.

He said several other accidents had previously been recorded involving Mazhandu Family Bus Services fleet of buses.
“On 9th and 16th January, 2015, two of your buses registration numbers ABZ 5921 and ALZ 4562 were involved in separate road traffic crashes in Central and Copperbelt Provinces respectively resulting in one (01) person dying and fourteen (14) others sustaining injuries. On 16th February, 2015, another bus registration number ACZ 4562 overturned at Kasongo area near Luanshya turn off on the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway with sixteen (16) people on board and one (01) person died on the spot with some sustaining injuries.”

“On 29th February 2016, another bus registration number ABK 8288 was involved in a road traffic accident around 0600 hours along Nakatindi road en route from Sesheke to Lusaka where one (01) person died on the spot. On 30th of January, one Mazhandu Family bus with registration number ALZ 3197 had a road mishap in Kabwe earlier that evening at around 19:00 hours. The driver however used the same bus and started off the following day at around 05:00 despite assuring the passengers that the company would send another bus to continue with the journey. Further, one of the passengers has revealed the bus had a mechanical problem which led to diesel spilling on the tyres.”

“However, the driver and the Management of Mazhandu Family bus did not attend to this problem and opted to use the same bus with an alleged mechanical fault,” Mr Soko said.

“On 31st of January, 2017, the same bus with registration number ALZ 3197 driven by Vincent Hangandu collided with a Freightliner truck registration number ACM 1160 belonging to Sandhu Transport around 0540 hours on Great North road near Lwansimba between Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi. Nine (09) people died on the spot from both vehicles: seven (07) from the bus and two (02) from the truck. The 10th victim died at the hospital leaving several injured.”

He said preliminary investigations relating to the current accident have revealed that Vincent Hangandu lost control of the bus due to over speeding, the bus then swayed into the opposite lane where it collided with the south bound Freightliner truck.

“In our letter to Mazhandu Family Bus Services dated 7th April, 2016, we indicated that investigations into the cause of the crashes involving their fleet of buses revealed that all crashes occurred after the drivers lost control due to excessive speed leading to such accidents.

“The Agency wishes to reiterate with concern that the road safety record of operation for Mazhandu Family Bus Services has increasingly deteriorated from 2013 despite various engagements including road safety education and development of a road safety workplace policy to which Mazhandu is one of the 30 companies which the RTSA is implementing this initiative.”

He said the Agency notes with concern Mazhandu Family Bus Services have either failed or neglected to address the problem of over speeding in their operations and because of that, the nation has continued to lose people as a result of accidents that are otherwise preventable.

Mr Soko said the accidents involving the Mazhandu fleet of buses have been frequent and are posing a serious danger to the public.

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53 COMMENTS

    • CEO Soko ukutumpa, why list down all accidents? Just suspend with one sentence. Mazadu should sue RTSA for defamation and loss of businesses. Even a goat jump in front of bus, then its mazadu?

    • Nonsense! Just lift the nighttime driving it will ease the pressure on drivers overspeeding in order to beat the 20:00 time.

    • If the Zambian public transport users were united, they would just completely shun travelling on Mazhandu buses as the only way to get them out of busines. PF government will never ever do anything to discipline Mazhandu because we have heard that Mazhandu is the main sponsor of PF programs and projects. It’s up to the Zambian travelling public to choose to continue dying on Mazhandu buses or to preserve their precious lives by completely avoiding Mazhandu buses that have claimed so many people lives. It really hurts to see that government does nothing to protect people’s lives.

    • Please properly screen and train all public transport drivers! Have a system where they can be reevaluated every few months and conduct sobriety tests before they start off.

      Bus operators should pay for the sobriety kits and be responsible for medical bills and funeral costs for all these casualties they cause.
      Mazhandu, you are done!

    • We urgently need help in the road safety department…these people are ill skilled to handle this task…there is absolutely no shame to ask for technical assistance. We need professionals – technocrats heading this department if we cant find any advertise the jobs on the continent.

    • This useless and ineffective Zindaba Soko including the entire board of Directors at Mazhandu must be charged with culpable homicide. They knowingly allowed a defective bus and a drived who was tired to emback on a long distance journey thereby deliberately putting the lives of the passengers in imminent danger. The risk was glaringly obvious but they allowed anyway. Mazhandu bus company must be shut down immediately and made to pay compensation to the accident victims.

    • Where is the Minister that lifted Mazhandu suspension last year. Can he issue a statement now to justify his actions then? This could have been avoided.

  1. WHICH IS WHICH? The letter the other driver wrote says the driver was coming from Copperbelt which means the bus was going south and the truck was going north? Where did the driver spend the night, in Kabwe or in some town in Copperbelt?

    • The whole narrative by RTSA’s Soko point towards overspeeding as the cause of these accidents. Instead of re-introducing speed limiters and ensuring that they cannot be disabled, RTSA are engaged in nitpicking. Mazhandu accidents may be more pronounced because they have more buses. But what about all the other accidents involving public service vehicles, including trucks? RTSA are so incompetent they cannot even renew a driving licence within 3 months.

    • SOKO as usual, doesnt know what he is talking about. He knows once he uses word ‘overspeeding’ even a cochroach will believe him. did he see the bus overspeeding.
      ba SOKO investigate then issue report not tantrums all the time

  2. The problem with us Zambians generally is we are so reactive. we have been here before. these knee jerk reactions will not take us anywhere. what is required is a thorough investigations not this clutching on straws. you can suspend this license but you will re-instate it sooner or later. how about speedily constructing dual carriage roads. at every station, we have RSTA staff who take note of all these things, what sets me aback is that people are seen doing things but actually not doing anything after all.

    • @Kabu – has the opposition stopped PF from doing anything? Think about rigged elections, daft constitution, powercuts etc. PF will continue to corruptly run Zambia.

  3. “The Agency wishes to reiterate with concern that the road safety record of operation for Mazhandu Family Bus Services has increasingly deteriorated from 2013 despite various engagements including road safety education and development of a road safety workplace policy to which Mazhandu is one of the 30 companies which the RTSA is implementing this initiative.” Can Grade 2 bus operators & their Grade 3 bus drivers understand Road Safety Education and Development of a Road Safety Workplace Policy? RTSA issue public service vehicle licenses to Grade 12 holders with passes in 6 subjects or more only. You can’t have buffet or mixed grill of Grade 1, 2, 3, 4 bus drivers who can’t hear any English Word & subject them to Road Safety Education and Development of a Road Safety Workplace Policy in…

  4. I do a lot of driving between the Copperbelt and Lusaka and I have on several occasions noticed the reckless manner of driving and over speeding by Mazhandu Bus drivers.It seems to me that the Mazhandu family don’t care for peoples lives for as long as the money is coming in everyday no matter the risk on peoples lives.Now that their license has been revoked they should even pack their bags and go back to Zimbabwe.Am sure Robert Mugabe will welcome them back.Enough is Enough atase!!

  5. Again most drivers are not sharp. They don’t understand that you have to slow down on a bend. And the road surface on our tarmac roads is not okay on great north road. And also the road in the rain season is generally slippery. Let me put it the way it is, most bus drivers are dull.

  6. RTSA pull up stokanes, for people do not follow traffic regulations. You are the law inforcers, but you are not doing it right. Where are speed traps in your road? Get organise and work hard to reduce the loss of people.

  7. THERE U GO AGAIN DEALING WITH THE OUTCOME INSTEAD OF THE CAUSE. BAN THE USE OF HIGER BUSES & CLOSE DOWN ZAMBIA BUREAU OF STANDARDS FOR FAILING TO DO THEIR JOB.

    • @Jay Jay Low I agree with you.If you take stock of most accidents that has happened you will find that the bus is a HIGER brand.
      Question is RATSA taken time to inspect the suspension of these buses?We never used to have such higher number of accidents with the buses from Brazil.
      RATSA take these buses off the roads and do a thorough inspection of the suspension of these buses.

  8. Like someone said above, the license will be given back to them because “they have promised to improve their services”. That’s how things operate in Zambia

  9. Iwe how can mazhandu a chuundu bus be funding pf. Chuundus only supports their own in this case upnd.

  10. CEO soko revoke the licence am not interested listening to your statements. You want to react when your relative will be involved and killed by this mazhandu like one of the former president who lost his mother in a scrap minibus

  11. I work for an organization with a fleet of vehicles that run in hundreds. All these vehicles are fitted with GPS and we are able to monitor from a central location each individual vehicles location, speed when in motion and indeed the identity of the driver. RATSA should invest in this technology. At a time a new bus is being registered, the gadget should be installed at the cost of the operator and biometric data of the drivers captured. RATSA would be able to tell for how long a driver has been behind the wheel, location, speed and if necessary communicate with a driver through the owners for any anomalies. It won’t take away all the problems but it is a reliable deterrence.

  12. @mimbulu. You are very right but do they have qualified people to do that? And you know when brown envelopes fly around there is no refund why are they taking time. The transporter from kabwe was handled badly mazhandu they are busy suspending why?

  13. FOLLOWING THE BAN TO TRAVEL AT NIGHT ALL BUSES ARE EXPECTED TO DEPART AT 05.00HRS IN THE MORNING. ONE IS LEFT TO WONDER WHAT TIME THE MAZHANDU BUS LEFT INTER CITY TERMINUS AND BE INVOLVED IN A FATAL ACCIDENT AT 05.40HRS AT A PLACE BEYOND KABWE ITS EITHER HE WAS FLYING OR MUST HAVE LEFT INTER CITY AROUND 03.30 HRS. MEANING THERE IS CORRUPTION AT INTERCITY THERE AND RATSA AND THE LCC MUST BE PROBED TO ESTABLISH AS TO WHY THE BUS WAS ALLOWED TO LEAVE BEFORE THE STIPULATED TIME OF 05.00HRS. AS A MATTER OF FACT EVEN BUSES FROM THE CB TO NAKONDE AND MPULUNGU AS WELL AS THOSE FROM LSK TO NAKONDE AND MPULUNGU START OFF AT 04.00HRS. THE BAN HAS BEEN FLOUTED FROM DAY ONE . COME ON RATSA WAKE UP WHY ARE YOU ONLY AROUSED OUT OF DEEP SLUMBER AFTER FATALITIES .

  14. Fellow country men and women, first of all, I want to seriously apologise for my busy program lately attending to some important issues outside the country as you all are aware that my travels consequently boast our economy – somehow.
    Secondly , I am not going to watch everything happening in front of me and in my eyes and let agencies like Rasta speak before I do. I am from now on going to flex my muscles and show leadership.

    It’s for this same reason that I want to state that I am very very saddened by the recent road accidents and consequently the deaths of many citizens. I warn you all and everyone involved in this business that as long as I continue to be a chief kateka, this has to come to an end. I am from now on instructing the agency in charge to investigate and report…

  15. @Kambwili yes in unity there’s strength. If all Zambians would boycott certain services, am sure there would be a lot of improvement in delivery. Say when bus operators abnormaly increase fares and we all opt to walk, when we refuse to pay the unnecessary admission of guilty and to go to court then things we improve for our lot.

  16. RATSA is just exposing its incompetence and corruption by enumerating all those incidences without having to prevail over Mazhandu Bus company. Remember it has been reported that there is corruption involved and RATSA is benefiting from it. The owners of the bus company boast that PF can do nothing since they donate money to PF government.
    Zambians suffer from ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ loving them that kill them slowly in a subtle way.
    Zambians like death. Author of this article confirms that PF does not care about Zambian life over money.

    Reply

  17. Its just a matter of us the travelling public to stop using this so called mazhandu of a thing,then the company will due a slow death that’s all,,,,,,rather than getting on a bus which u even know u wont reach where u are going,,atase

  18. This is proper tribalism is going on including army commander chitundu was fired at Zesco and given the post Daka, copperbelt minister is Kamanga that’s why this are going wrong in our country

  19. Has anyone in Zambia thought of deaths occurring at UTH or Kitwe central Hospital and demand for their closure?How many bus companies have banned before and has that stopped the carnage on our roads? In Zambia we don’t have people who can sit in their office and plan for betterment of this this country.All we see is stealing from wherever they can their hands on to be seen as wealthy people.

  20. More than 30 people died when the Power Tools bus overtuned last year…what is your issue iwe ka Soko. Mazhandu samakuchekela ka??

  21. too much of just putting the blame on mazhandu..one thing i have discovered is that there there is something terribly wrong with those tuma buses they have been recently buying..Zambians are just good at talking and condemning without looking at the real issue at hand,no wonder we are not developing..why not investigate the safety of teh buses and sue the company that made them..The person to blame is whoever certified these buses to be on our roads if at all it happens..Ba RATSA pliz also do your job and stop putting whole blame on mazhandu..May the lovely souls of those who died rest in eternal peace..

    • @Sentunya, I agree in part with you but there must be thorough investigations from competent persons who will look at the state of the road, the type of buses which have had a higher frequency if accidents as well as Mazhandu its self as to the service & maintenance of its fleet. This report(s) would be the basis on which a decision is made. Only after this is done would the licence be suspended though I don’t agree to suspending the licence. It would be better to heavily fine Mazhandu than suspend its licence as the impact on the economy is grave through the action taken. This suspension does not only affect Mazhandu but the already ailing Zambian economy. Just compute the trickle down negative effect of having in excess of may be 100 buses parked.

  22. This country is suffering from serious incompetence & emotional-decision making. This Zidaba guy is not competent to be at the helm of RATSA. Why do I say so; firstly he lists the number of accidents Mazhandu buses have been involved in without giving individual reports as to who and/or what caused those accidents & what actions did his office take. Secondly, for him to suspend the licence, has his office already investigated & found Mazhandu to have been at fault. These are the chaps who are killing entrepreneurship & encouraging poverty in this country. Each accident should be treated as a separate case & properly investigated rather than making uninformed decisions all the time (remember the night driving saga). Zambia Maya MWe!

  23. Passegers says the bus Had a michanical problem and Ratsa says the bus Was overspeeding. Who can wine the case in court ? Let Ratsa give us à report here not what they are telling us.

  24. The Nakatindi Road, from the pontoon turn off at Kazungula to Sesheke is virtually impassable. The accident there was inevitable. I used that road in December and really regretted why I chose to use it.Some of the accidents could have been avoided if the Government maintained the roads to acceptable standards.

    May the souls of the departed rest in peace.

Comments are closed.

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