The Sunday Mail
THIS week, I chanced upon a heart-rending video of racing rural buses, whose drivers were doing what should never be done on the roads, before the trip ended in tragedy.
Dangerous driving was displayed in its rightful colours, with the conductor, who, sadly, later lost his life during the fateful trip, urging on his driver.
All the while, the passengers who were on the speeding bus were dead silent and, to my chagrin, none of them voiced discomfort over what the driver and his conductor were doing.
Like gentle lambs being led to slaughter, the passengers could not be heard complaining, which might mean they were enjoying what was taking place or they feared being forced to disembark before reaching their respective destinations.
Gentle reader, what the video shows is just a tip of the iceberg.
If truth be told, people board buses for various reasons.
Some do so to go to school, seek treatment at hospitals, visit the sick or attend weddings and funerals, among many other important events.
It, therefore, boggles the mind why the travelling public should be at the mercy of bus crews, who can be called to order before calamity strikes.
Drivers out there need to be reminded of the need to observe the sanctity of life at all times.
They need to be ordered to travel at safe speeds all the time and treat their passengers with respect.
As I commit pen to paper, these drivers seem to be competing to break the law as seen by the high speeds and the general lawlessness on the roads.
“Speed King”, “Speed Master,” “Road Bully”, “Boss of the Road” and “Iti Pwee” are some of the stickers people see pasted on buses at Mbare Musika and other terminuses across the country.
These stickers show the drivers’ predilection for speed, which they claim helps people arrive at their intended destinations early.
The drivers have also been given names like “Kabhodhoro”, “Daily Drinking Officer,” or “Chidhakwa” because of how well they reportedly drive under the influence of alcohol.
Travellers dice with death each time they decide to use public transport. It is as if the moment an individual steps onto those vehicles, he or she would have signed a death warrant.
Besides the bad driving and low regard for safety, bus crews use coarse and unpolished language on travellers.
I am told they are sometimes spat at or slapped following minor misunderstandings with the bus crews.
Drivers and their conductors have become law unto themselves, as they always play loud music and quench their sexual appetite on travellers. They make it a crime for a beautiful woman to board the bus, as they usually start offering her free rides while demanding sex.
All this, they do under the influence of alcohol, which they consume in full view of passengers.
“Hapana munhu asingadye. I am a bus driver, but that does not mean I should not attend to my thirst or matters of the heart.
“Why do you people think you have a right to tell me how I should behave in my workspace,” one driver responded after being told by the travelling public to behave.
Some drivers have gained fame for reportedly managing to reach their various destinations “safely”, even under the influence of alcohol.
It is not unusual to drive to bus stations across the country and find drivers drinking all sorts of alcoholic beverages while on duty.
Gentle reader, we only live once and there is need to maintain safety at all times.