NAREP STATEMENT ON THE TERRIBLE ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT AT CHIBOMBO ON THURSDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2013
DECLARE A PERIOD OF NATIONAL MOURNING
We are reminded yet again of the tragic conditions many innocent people face every day as they commute between towns on our busy roads in Zambia. The tragic loss of more than 53 people in the devastating road accident near Chibombo along the Great North Road fills us all with a sense of dread and confusion. Our thoughts go out to all the family and friends of the victims of this horrific incident. We can only pray that God – the source of the peace that surpasses all understanding – will comfort them as they mourn their loved ones and provide hope to those injured in this incident. The lesson of this loss of life, Zambia’s worst road traffic accident in the last 20 years, should be that we do everything in our power to ensure that it never happens again. Our roads have not kept pace with the developments in our land. Kabwe-Lusaka should have long ago been upgraded into a dual carriageway. In the short-term, however, we need to introduce speed inhibitors in all public transportation vehicles, increase the vigilance of our road-traffic officials and ensure there is better discipline on our roads. Given the seriousness of the accident and the unprecedented loss of life, we need to declare a period of national mourning to honour the lives of the innocent victims of this senseless carnage. We need to allow the nation to mourn this loss together. We also need to spare no effort to ensure that we get to the bottom of what caused this incident and mete out appropriate sanction against anyone found wanting. I am reminded that we are all potential victims of road traffic deaths. Having lost my own mother in a terrible traffic accident in 2008, I am all too familiar with what many sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, uncles aunts and friends will be going through at a time like this. Let them take comfort in the fact that the whole nation mourns with them. Let us all also remember that accidents do not just happen. They can be avoided. It should therefore be our solemn duty as those who drive, to ensure that we do all within our power and control to avoid taking unnecessary risks or being careless on our roads.
May God’s grace be with the families and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy.
Elias C. Chipimo
8 February 2013