NRZ keeps lid on train disaster report

THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) says it will not publish a report on the inquiry into the Dibangombe train disaster that claimed the lives of eight people, it emerged this week. Soon after the accident, speculation was rife that more people might have

died and were not recovered after their bodies were consumed by the fire.


Reports from people on the ground indicated that as many as 30 people could have died in the train disaster although the official figures put the number at eight.


The rail parastatal’s general manager, Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai, had promised journalists at a press conference after the train accident that the report would be made public. Speaking to journalists last week, Karakadzai said the inquiry would now not be made public to avoid any finger pointing.


“When an accident happens, the first person who wants to know how the accident happened is the office of the general manager. It is important for me to know what happened before releasing the information to anyone as there will be a lot of finger pointing,” Karakadzai said.


He said the report would be brought to his office and that the NRZ would use the information for internal use as provided for in rail regulations. Sources who visited the accident site indicated that more than eight people might have perished, as the damage was extensive. Six coaches were burnt beyond repair in the accident.


“There is definitely something that the NRZ is trying to cover up. There is a general feeling that more than eight people might have died in that train disaster,” said a source, who requested anonymity. “Most of the coaches were totally burnt and some bodies might not have been recovered.”


“The report might have uncovered the truth on what actually happened. I think the NRZ has a strong case to answer,” the source said.


Karakadzai warned that those responsible for the accident would be dealt with according to the law.


“If the report finds any NRZ employees on the wrong side of the law then a disciplinary committee will be set up to hear any evidence before culprits are charged,” Karakadzai said. — Staff Writer.

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