The Sunday Mail
I have a daughter who recently got a place to study law at a university in Zambia.
My wife and I decided we could not just send our child there, hence as parents, we wanted to appreciate the culture and values at the university.
We departed Mutare around 8 am and got to Harare around 11 am.
We met with a few friends and around 3pm had lunch before heading for Road Port where we had made a prior booking for seats with King Lion buses.
We checked in around 6pm.
King Lion was the first to arrive at the boarding bay before other buses such Tenda and Chigubhu.
However the buses departed leaving ours behind.
At about 8pm, the bus we had boarded, King Lion, departed Road Port.
All the seats were occupied and before leaving Harare we stopped to pick up four women who were wearing white garments worn by some members of apostolic sects.
At that time the driver was not speeding, maybe because of traffic in the city centre.
I took off my shoes and jacket, it was getting hot inside the bus.
However just after Harare the driver suddenly increased the speed of the bus.
I felt uncomfortable with the speed and told my wife. But at that moment I did not raise my concerns with the driver.
I wanted to tell the conductor first but I could not locate him.
At the back of my mind, I kept thinking of the recent Mvuma bus accident.
This was because of the risky overtaking that the driver would make at curves.
Because of the speed, we managed to overtake all the buses that had left us at Road Port.
There was a lady who was in a seat adjacent to ours who openly expressed her concern over the speeding bus.
She called to the conductor, who was now seated in front, to tell the driver to reduce the speed of the bus.
I suddenly found my voice and seconded her.
Both the driver and the conductor remained mum with the former maintaining the high speed.
I hope that lady is still alive. She is one of the people who stood up to this driver, though he never listened.
When we got to Chinhoyi we picked about four boys but there was no sitting place, one of them decided to sit on the bus steps, while the conductor took out a blanket and slept on the floor.
These boys were now talking to the driver.
From their conduct, it seemed all five of them knew each very well.
They were not even disturbed by speed.
Just before midnight after we had passed Karoi it was getting cold.
I wanted to put on a jacket and shoes I had removed earlier.
Suddenly I heard a loud sound from the driver’s side and realised it had emanated from the front wheel.
The bus began swerving and it was evident it was moving on the front rim.
In no time there was a loud bang and I remember hitting my head against seats. The next thing I was being dragged out of the bus wreckage and placed besides my wife who had been dragged out before me.
I was bleeding profusely from the nose and mouth.
My wife had suffered a fractured hand.