HARARE – Suspended bus companies Zebra Kiss and Rimbi Tours have apologised and further revealed they were firing drivers who got involved in a fierce road race along the Harare-Nyamapanda road earlier in the week leading to a fatal road traffic accident involving the Rimbi bus and another vehicle.
The accident caused the death of the bus conductor and injury to over 20 passengers.
The incident, captured on phone video which went viral on social media, led to the suspension of operating licences for the two transporters by Transport Minister Felix Mhona Thursday.
In a video posted on social media Friday, managers of the two bus operators owned up to the recklessness of their crews on the day in question and pledged to finance the funeral of the deceased as well as treatment of the injured passengers.
Tangisai Mapuranga, Zebra Kiss Coaches managing director said the company has hauled its driver before a disciplinary hearing pending dismissal.
“This (Friday) afternoon, I just want to apologise to the nation for what happened and to our minister (of transport) as well and the entire transport sector which includes our association, ZPTO for this mess which happened on that day.
“It was also to be noted that this was caused by human error which was the negligence of our drivers and we would like to take full responsibility for that and also say sorry to the families that got injured; we also lost one of the bus crew for Rimbi buses,” Mapuranga said.
“We say we are very sorry; we send our condolence message to the bereaved family and we would like to guarantee you that as Tashllyt Investments, we are there to serve the nation.
“We would like to give you this confirmation and warranty that since we started operating in 2012 up to date, you can check our record, we are a company which is willing and striving to comply with the laws of Zimbabwe traffic and also to our bus crews, we always try from time and again to conscientise them, to give them refresher courses.”
Mapuranga added, “Though we know here and there they come to a point whereby they become carried away to such an extent that they end up having such mess on the road … I would like to highlight that the drivers who were involved in this accident, we have taken measures; we have suspended our driver pending dismissal after we conduct a hearing.”
Standing beside him was Decent Rimbi, director for Rimbi Travel and Tours who also issued an apology and pledged the company’s commitment to see through the funeral of its deceased employee and the injured passengers.
“I would lie to apologise to the entire nation …Indeed, we would have deployed our employees to go to work but they find themselves acting out of line.
“We would like to assure those who got injured in the accident … we would to take all the responsibilities and will attend to all their needs until they are healed.
“To the deceased who was my conductor, we are taking over the entire funeral cover and we also want to apologise to the association over what happened.”