Walk of Life to assist road accident victims

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: Ms Masline Makanda One of the survivors of a horror crush that killed 15 people when a commuter omnibus they were travelling in collided head-on with a Mazda truck carrying tobacco bales along the Chitungwiza –Dema road.-(Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

BY Tafadzwa Chidoori

Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ), athletes, members of parliament, councillors, business executives, members of community based organisations and well-wishers will congregate in Chitungwiza on Saturday 19 August 2017, for a 28.3Km “Walk of Life” fundraiser.

The Walk of Life sponsored walk will start at Chitungwiza Town Centre and end at Africa Unity Square.

The event is organized by Passenger Association of Zimbabwe in conjunction with Say No To Road Accidents Trust and Makers Advertising (Pvt) Ltd.

“Funds raised will go towards assisting victims of road accidents who have permanent disabilities with mobility equipment, medical and other forms of assistance,” Tafadzwa George Goliati
President of Passengers Association of Zimbabwe & Coordinator of Walk of Life Sponsored Walk said in a statement.

The fundraiser comes at a time Transport Minister Joram Gumbo is pushing for the establishment of a Road Accident Fund aimed at assisting road accident victims.

According to official statistics, over 30 000 people are injured and the country experiences about 1 700 fatalities annually in road accidents. On average 5 lives are lost daily on Zimbabwean roads.

In most circumstances, the government ends up compensating the bereaved cases due to lack of proper insurance cover by motorists and or passengers. However, the government does not have modalities or insurance cover to cater for the injured and social safety nets to cater for surviving family members of victims of road carnage.

Carnage on Seke Road has over the years been contributory to the high mortality and morbidity rates and injury of hundreds of passengers and motorists in the country. In June this year nine people were killed and 2 critically injured when a Harare-bound commuter omnibus hit a stationery haulage truck near Dema Police Station. In September last year 16 people were killed and 5critically injured in a horror crush when a commuter omnibus they were travelling in had a head on collision with a Hino Truck.

While the state of the roads, potholes, vehicle mechanical faults and stray animals are a cause of these accidents, 93 percent of road accidents in Zimbabwe are due to human error.

By walking, Passenger Association of Zimbabwe is also making a statement that road carnage is avoidable and people should take steps to learn about road safety and to drive with due care and diligence.

“This event seeks to promote road safety awareness and assist road accident victims and their families through provision of quality emergency preparedness, rehabilitation and medical assistance for victims of road carnage,” Goliati said.

PAZ also encouraged members of the public who use Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), to only use those that have passenger liability cover as it would help in their compensation if they were to be involved in an accident and got injured or lose their lives.

“As Passengers Association of Zimbabwe we also seek to use this event as a vehicle for educating passengers to use registered PSVs with passenger liability cover and to make them aware of benefits in the event of an accident,” said Goliati.

At Africa Unity Square there will be live music entertainment and speeches by key stakeholders, from government ministries, municipalities and sponsors. PAZ also looks forward to the attendance of World Health Organisation, rehabilitation institutions and major hospitals at the fundraiser.

PAZ will also run a number of awareness competitions and there will be lots of prizes to be won.

For more information and to participate in the fundraiser you can contact the organiser Tafadzwa George Goliati on 0712 334 330 or Edward Kuyipa on 0733 854 138

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