The death toll in the Pemba road accident which occurred on Thursday involving a bus belonging to the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) of Maamba in Sinazongwe District, Southern Province has risen to Seventeen (17).
This follows the death of three more victims at Monze Mission Hospital where they were admitted for treatment.
The UCZ owned bus carrying 35 passengers from Maamba was involved in a head-on collision with a front liner truck in Pemba on their way to Lusaka, claiming 14 lives including the bus driver on the spot.
The accident happened when the driver of a Rosa commuter bus belonging to the United Church of Zambia (UCZ), coming from Maamba to Lusaka, collided with a Frontliner cargo truck coming from the opposite direction.
Monze Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. Eugene Kaunda has told Phoenix News on Friday that out of the 7 victims who were in critical condition, 3 have died.
Dr. Kaunda says five victims were discharged on Friday while 13 others are still admitted to Monze Mission Hospital and are in a stable condition.
The head-on collision involving a Rosa mini-bus and a heavy duty truck in Pemba occurred around 04:30 hours on a wet road following a downpour.
The mini-bus, which had 36 people on board, was coming from Maamba and enroute to Lusaka, and is a property of the United Church of Zambia (UCZ).
The Rosa minibus is extensively damaged whilst the freightliner has its front part badly smashed.
Meanwhile, various stakeholders have expressed sorrow over the death of 17 people in the Pemba road accident.
President Hakainde Hichilema has already sent a message of condolence to the families and friends of the deceased.
President Hichilema says his thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of the deceased.
The Head of State has also sent his best wishes for quick recovery to the accident victims in hospital.
The Head of State has since emphasized the need to improve road safety on public roads by investing in quality road infrastructure.
According to President Hichilema’s Spokesperson Anthony Bwalya, the Head of State says the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) will continue to receive support to help fulfill its mandate of promoting responsible behaviour on the roads.
He has further urged motorists to exercise maximum responsible behaviour while on the roads to safeguard lives.
Meanwhile, the UPND has conveyed condolences to bereaved families and the people of Southern Province for the loss of their loved ones in Thursday’s road accident in Pemba.
UPND Secretary General Batuke Imenda, who has conveyed the condolences, said the party National Management Committee (NMC) and the general membership have received the sad news with shock.
Mr. Imenda said it is unfortunate as the road carnage happened at the time when the province is grappling with devastating floods.
And the UCZ through its synod administrative secretary Rodgers Ng’ambi expressed sadness over the loss of lives in the road carnage.
“The Church bus that operates between Maamba and Lusaka has been involved in a road accident at Pemba and we have lost 12 lives including the driver. Let us pray for the bereaved families and the presbytery,” said Ng’ambi.
Sinazongwe UPND Member of Parliament Gift Sialubalo said he was speechless at the loss of lives from his constituency.
“As MP for Sinazongwe, I mourn with the bereaved families. It’s sad that people had to lose their lives in this manner. As people of Sinazongwe, let us once again get united in mourning our departed brothers and sisters,” said Mr. Sialubalo.
Pemba District Commissioner, Obey Habeenzu and Monze District Commissioner, Mwanza Malambo, who visited the scene of the accident, described the mishap as unfortunate.