President Emmerson Mnangagwa who just returned from Guinea where he flew in a private jet has been blasted for focusing on wrong priorities when he paid condolences to the 47 people that were killed in a bus disaster in Rusape yesterday.
The accident involving Smart Express and Bolt Cutter buses occurred near the Rusape tollgate.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of the tragedy on the Harare-Mutare Road last night,” Mnangagwa said on his twitter handle.
“At this difficult time, we must come together. Government will ensure the injured receive the treatment they need, and the victims the support they deserve. We will be there for you,” he said.
“As we move forward, it is incumbent upon us to investigate how this happened, draw the relevant insights and implement tough new regulations to make these tragic incidents a thing of the past.”
There was, however, a backlash with Saki Dube responding: “Sincere condolences to their families. However Mr President, many of us simply do not believe much of what you have been saying for the past year.”
Andre K Mujurum, added: “So Mr President are u going to fly the injured to South Africa since most of your ministers goes there whenever they don’t feel well. I mean in all fairness it would be great for these patients to receive the best care possible. As in South Africa.”
Tony Musara concurred: “Condolences to the families for the loss and as per Gvt practice we hope the injured will be swiftly airlifted to South Africa for medical attention.”
Several top government officials including Mnangagwa himself, his deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi have received treatment in South Africa since Mnangagwa came to power in November last year.
The government, however, also paid for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to receive treatment in South Africa but he did not make it.
Mzaya Hector said Mnangagwa had to get his priorities right. “Our Condolences to the families in these trying times. No need for tough regulations on the roads Sir, u just need to cut unnecessary expenditures & redirect the money to infrastructure. We can’t charter a private jet to see a bloody dam in some country. What value did it add 2us.”
Edison Mutematemi agreed: “I thank you Mr President, matambudziko awonekwa vazorora. But i think few lived could have been saved if you have up in place a functional emergence respond, the fire brigade, ambulances etc – Don’t you think so? we could have saved 5, 6 , 8 even one person Mr President SIR!”
Some Air Zimbabwe officials were upset that Mnangagwa chartered a private jet to fly to Guinea when he could have used the struggling national airline and saved foreign currency.
Trucila Mutasa, however, urged the government to come up with regulations enforcing the use of safety belts on public transport.
“We’d like to see a shift in the attitudes of all public transport drivers on our roads & I’m asking all who care to please sign the petition below in support of the proposed changes. In other countries even ministers sign petitions to support a good cause.”
When told by Godfrey SC that there were already such laws, Mutasa responded: “There is non(e) on public transport. But this petition covers it all and more”