Thursday, November 30, 2023

When roads become death snares

Beverly Bizeki

It is barely a month before the Masvingo community and the nation were plunged into mourning after losing international talent, Garry Mapanzure, who had always soothed the souls of music lovers and was raising the ancient city’s flag high in the music industry.
Just before tears dried and before footprints to the cemetery swept away by the innocent wind, the city was again hit by a double tragedy, the education sector was robbed of two renowned educationists Masvingo and Bondolfi Teachers’ College principals Benson Mutambudzi and Dr Benard Berejena.
The Harare-Beitbridge Road has been a death trap for a long time and just after people were done celebrating the rehabilitation of the road, it has already claimed lives of three important figures in Masvingo within a month, among others and injured many.
The two educationists’ death came as a shock considering the fact that they died hours apart having been involved in two separate accidents on the same road, same day whilst coming from the same event.
They were both coming from a graduation ceremony at Danhiko Industrial Training Centre in Harare on October 26 and Mutambudzi was pronounced dead on arrival at Masvingo Provincial Hospital.
The accident that killed Mutambudzi happened around 9:30 pm after a Honda CRV he was driving was hit by another vehicle that was traveling behind him.
Dr Berejena, who had hosted a graduation ceremony a day before Masvingo Teachers also died at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare where he was admitted following his car crash.
Berejena (63) worked at Joshua Nkomo Polytechnic College before joining Bondolfi Teachers’ college where he served as a Curriculum Studies and Mathematics lecturer before he was promoted to acting principal.
The death of the two left many with questions than answers as to how the same road claimed the lives of three prominent figures in such a short space of time.
Mapanzure had died earlier on October 13 together with his friend Langton Mandima and his sister’s infant child.
The afro pop star died at 25 leaving the hearts of many broken as he was a promising artist, leaving behind his young widow, Vimbai Mapanzure and son Thomas Junior Mapanzure.
Mapanzure also called ‘African Sushi’ by his fans made a name for himself in the industry, attracting international maestros from across the continent working with him.
While it is said that the proverbial call of death always gets a response, events of the past month have painted dark stains on the newly refurbished roads, which however are going to be a reminder of sorrow and pain to the Masvingo community and somewhat unmarked death traps.

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