When life becomes a living hell

O wen Dzapasi (28) of Village 4A in Simoona, Bindura must be could be cursing the gods. His fortunes – which appeared to be on the rise – have just crushed with a thud. The young man is admitted in a small hospital bed nursing injuries sustained in a road traffic accident.

He was behind the steering wheel when his Mazda DX 2500 plunged into a river in Glendale in Mashonalnd Central at around 8am last Tuesday.

Seven people died on the spot while five others, including Dzapasi, escaped with various degrees of injuries.

Dzapasi’s predicament is that he was unlicensed to drive a vehicle in Zimbabwe and he is likely to face culpable homicide charges.

Since the accident, the life of the father-of-three and his family will never be the same again.

After selling his tobacco early last month, Dzapasi dashed to Shamva and bought one of his dream assets – a vehicle. It did not matter that it was a second-hand car. He had a car.

As is the norm in African culture, the local community, especially relatives and friends, was overjoyed. For those green with envy, they grumbled inside and proferred fake smiles.

Dzapasi had big plans for his new possession: using it as a pirate taxi in the area where transport is usually a nightmare for residents.

The young man expected good pickings from his entrepreneurial idea.

Despite the fact that Dzapasi is not a licensed driver and his vehicle is not only unlicensed, but clearly a ramshackle, he immediately hit the road ferrying locals to various destinations while evading traffic police.

The Sunday Mail Extra last week gathered that the vehicle, whose front-end was badly damaged, had been involved in a fatal accident that claimed the lives of five people before it was sold to Dzapasi.

Barely a month after the acquisition, another disaster struck.

Simoona Village was last week plunged into mourning after Dzapasi’s vehicle fell into the crocodile-infested Tsambe River, resulting in the death of seven people, six of whom were close relatives.

Precious Daimani (20), Patricia Kwerera (16), Benhilda Mutemachani (4), Tafadzwa Paulosi (1) Tawananyasha Kwerera (2) and Blessing Mundiya (38) drowned after the vehicle plunged into the water before landing on its roof.

Circumstances surrounding the tragedy left a lot of unanswered questions.

According to witnesses, close to 20 people stood by and watched helplessly as the victims drowned. No one, apart from two of the victims that survived the horror accident, gathered enough courage to dive into the water and rescue those that were battling for their lives.

Those that were in attendance were afraid of being attacked by crocodiles and had to go through the pain of watching people they knew perish.

Questions are being asked regarding Dzapasi’s decision to buy a vehicle that he knew very well had previously been involved in an accident which claimed five people.

A visit to the accident scene revealed that the tragedy is one of the most unusual accidents.

Described by villagers as a teetotaler, it is difficult to comprehend how Dzapasi missed the bridge and plunged into the water.

Eye witnesses say Dzapasi failed to give way to a tractor that was coming from the left side of the road before panicking and driving the vehicle into the water.

Up until this day, Darlington Gedion (21), who was driving the tractor and witnessed the drowning, is still searching for answers.

“Up until this day, I do not know what this guy was trying to do. I had already stopped the tractor when he panicked and steered the vehicle into the river. This is unusual,” a puzzled Gedion said.

Some villagers, in the aftermath of the tragedy, began speculating Dzapasi was not only an inexperienced driver but also a reckless one.

Stories began to unfold and only a fortnight ago, he was said to have narrowly missed colliding head-on with another vehicle. The villagers alleged that Dzapasi often drove at high speed and disregarded basic road rules.

Dzapasi was by Friday last week still admitted at Concession Hospital.

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