A Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) truck carrying relief food to victims of Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani Thursday afternoon developed a mechanical fault while moving uphill and reportedly ploughed into people who were waiting for food aid.
So far three people have died while several others were injured.
Sources at the Relief Command Centre in Chimanimani said the incident was a double blow for the victims, who were still traumatised by the effects of the tropical storm, which has killed hundreds.
The army truck was carrying food from Mutare.
“The army truck was trying to go uphill to a central point when the brakes developed a fault and it ploughed into people. This is terrible as death has followed people again,” said one source.
Another source confirmed: “I saw three people who were crushed by the army truck lying dead at the site. Several other people were also injured during the accident.”
Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore, confirmed the accident but said he did not have the finer details as he was not on the ground.
“I cannot give you more details about the accident when I am in Harare but the accident did occur. Talk to Major Chibasa who is on the ground who will give you all the details,” Lt. Col Makotore said.
However, Major Chibasa’s phone was not reachable.
Members of ZNA were deployed in Manicaland to render assistance to victims of the cyclone as well as to rescue those who are still marooned.
The soldiers have also been coordinating relief efforts in Chimanimani and Chipinge as well-wishers continue donating the urgently-needed logistical support to the humanitarian response in the wake of the cyclone that not only has devastated eastern Zimbabwe but Malawi and Mozambique as well.