EIGHT of the 11 Zimbabweans who were killed when a kombi they were travelling in hit a donkey and rammed into a tree in Botswana have been identified. All the eight are from Malila village in Tsholotsho under chief Gampu.
The names of three other accident victims are yet to be released, but two are said to be from Matjinge in Bulilima area and the other one is said to be from Gandisa area in Tsholotsho.
Chief Gampu whose jurisdiction covers Masila Village confirmed that most of the accident victims were from his area.
The councillor for Ward 16 in Tsholotsho, Patrick Ngwenya, said he moved from one household to another on Monday collecting names of the victims.
The eight are the vehicle’s driver, Mansen Ncube, 35; Langelihle Phiri, 23; Davison Sibanda; Eunice Moyo; Sharon Moyo; Liston Mlilo; Boniter Ncube and Nozithelo Sibanda all from Masila Village, Ward 16 area in Tsholotsho.
Efforts to get a comment from the Zimbabwean Embassy in Botswana and Botswana Police were fruitless as they said they were yet to receive information on the particulars of the victims.
Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said he could not comment on the matter as they accident happened outside Zimbabwe.
Bereaved families from Tsholotsho who spoke to the Chronicle expressed shock at the death of their loved ones.
The mother of the driver of the vehicle which was involved in the accident, Elizabeth Sibanda, said she parted with her son on Saturday morning around 4AM as he was leaving for South Africa.
“My son has been operating as umalayitsha for the past six years. These people who were in his car are all our neighbours and they had become his regular passengers,” said Sibanda.
She said her son passed through the house as he left for South Africa.
Sibanda said she was notified by her relatives working in South Africa that Ncube’s car had crashed.
She said she was informed that the vehicle knocked down a donkey, veered off the road and rammed into a tree.
Thiliza Sibanda whose daughter Langelihle, 23, died in the accident said she was on her way to South Africa where she works when she was involved in the accident.
Thiliza said her late daughter had become Ncube’s regular passenger as he helped her to travel illegally to South Africa as she did not have a passport.
She said her daughter had left behind two children aged seven and two years under her custody.
Thiliza said she received the heartbreaking news of her daughter’s death on Sunday morning.
The bereaved families appealed to the government to help them repatriate the bodies of their loved ones.
Five men, five women and a child were killed and seven others escaped with severe injuries after the South Africa- bound minibus hit a donkey and then rammed into a tree on Sunday morning.
The accident occurred along the Palapye-Martins Drift Road in the neighbouring country.
According to Botswana police only the driver had a passport — suggesting all his 17 passengers were illegal immigrants. The injured were admitted at Palapye Primary Hospital.