Zimbabwe govt declares state disaster over accident claiming 13 lives
Harare, Apr 16 (Xinhua): Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday declared a state of disaster over a freak accident that killed 13 members of an apostolic faith sect on Monday in Hwedza, Mashonaland East Province.
This means that the State will meet some of the burial costs.
The government will also meet the medical bills for the other seven who were injured when a lorry carrying maize left the road and ploughed into a group of worshipers at their shrine as they awaited transport to their homes after a Passover pilgrimage.
In a statement, Mnangagwa consoled the bereaved families, saying that the accident had cast a dark shadow over the Easter period.
"The death of worshipers at the Mugodhi Shrine in Hwedza has cast a dark cloud on both the Easter Holiday and our Independence celebrations. This freak accident which comes when the nation is still reeling from the effects of the devastating Cyclone Idai once again highlights the importance of absolute care and ensuring roadworthy vehicles on our roads," the President stated.
"I have since instructed the relevant government departments to declare this tragedy a state of disaster in order to pave way for government intervention and assistance to the affected families," he said.
He also urged the police and related agencies to vigorously enforce the country's traffic laws so that no more accidents would occur during the five-day holiday which starts with Independence Day on Thursday and ends with Easter Monday.