Wednesday 15 November 2023


A HORRIFIC road traffic accident killed 22 people on Tuesday night at the 27km peg along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Highway when a Toyota Quantum was involved in a head-on collision with a DAF truck.

Only two survived — Ms Junior Moyo (38) from Ngwizi, Mangwe District in Matabeleland South who was in a Quantum, and the truck driver, Mr Kizito Mawoneke (41) who was travelling from Beitbridge to Hwange. Both are admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital.

When the Chronicle news crew visited the accident scene yesterday morning,    the wreckage of the Toyota Quantum was still there while the truck had been towed away. 

A large portion of the ground was covered in blood while  in some areas there was what looked like brain matter.

Clothing materials such as two slippers, a hat were on the ground, as well as a burst tyre, medicinal tablets, business cards written Ivimbela Tours, a female hair piece and an A4 paper with a list of grocery items.

The squashed Toyota Quantum wreckage had  one front left tyre missing and blood spatter on the body. A local villager, Mr Sibongile Ncube, said he heard a loud bang and screams just before 10PM and he quickly rushed to the scene only to be met by horrific sights as the Toyota Quantum was on its roof with screaming passengers trapped inside.

“Because of the impact from being hit by the truck and overturning, the Quantum’s roof had been squashed down, making it difficult for anyone to come out or even be pulled out.

“However, what got me worried was that there was little movement from the passengers except one lady who was screaming and calling for help,” said Mr Ncube.

He said it was not until the fire brigade arrived that rescue personnel resorted to using ‘jaws of life’ in their rescue efforts.

“It was not a sight that one would want to see again,” said Mr Ncube.

He said the truck was also damaged and the driver was trapped inside.

“The rescue team had to break the driver’s door to get him out,” said Mr Ncube.

An uncle to one of the deceased persons, Mr Martin Mpofu said his nephew, a cross-border transporter, had intended to use a bus but was persuaded by friends to get into the Toyota Quantum.

“He never intended to use this vehicle but somehow his friends persuaded             him, kanti bambizela eliweni,” said Mr Mpofu.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Mr Mawoneke, with scars on his face, said the only thing he remembered was seeing a vehicle coming towards his truck.

“I don’t even know what happened afterward. I only found myself in this bed,” he said as he kept on inquiring about the state of passengers on the Toyota Quantum. 

While the police said there was a passenger in the truck, Mr Mawoneke said he was travelling alone. Ms Moyo, visibly in pain, also said she had no memory of what happened.

“I am just thankful for the life that was spared to us,” she said in an apparent reference to other passengers she was with, oblivious that they all perished.

The disaster comes hard on the heels after two other road carnages that claimed nine lives in Chipinge and Masvingo.

Ms Moyo’s husband, Mr Benjamin “Mpho” Ndlovu said his wife lost her bag with 56 000 rand and identity documents. She was on her way to South Africa to buy some groceries to restock their shops back home.

According to the police, the accident happened at around 10PM.

“The ZRP reports a fatal road traffic accident which occurred on November 14 at around 2200 hours at the 27-kilometer peg along Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road near Thandweni Store in which 22 people were killed whilst two others were injured when a Toyota Quantum vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with a DAF truck with one passenger on board,” said the police in a brief statement.


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