Written by on February 22, 2019

A family of six in Lusaka’s Lilanda Township, on Wednesday night, narrowly escaped death after a speeding 24-seater Coaster bus, lost control after hitting a pothole and rammed into their two roomed house, completely razing it to the ground.

The family were asleep when the house came down, leaving the mother with deep cuts on the head and other family members with serious injuries. The family has no home and the owner of the bus has disappeared.

The nightmare for Mr. Rodgers Mwanza and his family is not over just yet because the bus owners who initially promised to compensate them for the loss, seem to have now disappeared into thin air, leaving them in a more hopeless situation.

Mr Mwanza also feels that the police are not being helpful to the family by ensuring that the minibus owner is held accountable.

The following is The Sun interview with Mr. Rodgers Mwamba over the incident.

The Sun: What are your names?

Mr. Mwamba: My names are Rodgers Mwamba. The incident happened on Wednesday last week around 21:45 hours.

We were sleeping in the house, when we heard a loud bang and suddenly, the walls, the roof and rubbles fell on us, completely burying six of us alive. There was my wife, myself and four of my children at the time. We were lucky that no one got seriously injured in the accident except for my leg, and my wife who sustained a deep cut on her forehand.

We were lucky that some people rushed here and pulled us out of the rubble.

We later discovered some driver lost control of his 24-seater Coaster bus after hitting a pothole and hit into our two roomed house completely razing it to the ground.

We did not know exactly what happened, whether the driver was drunk or not, but what we gathered was that the he was trying to run away from someone whose vehicle he had hit along the way.

The Sun: What has the owner of the bus said about the accident?

Mr. Mwamba: We had some differences with the manager assigned to us from the bus company.

He told us we needed to compile the costs of the damaged goods and that if it is very high, it will be passed on to the insurance company to handle the compensation.

But I told him insurance companies take very long but we need the house immediately rebuilt because my family has nowhere to stay and children are missing school.

The manager kept on insisting on having the cost of the destroyed goods but I instead requested to meet the director of the company. We agreed to meet with the director on Tuesday at 14:00 hours at Matero Police Station but the man failed to show up. The police have not been helpful either.   

We waited for the director the whole afternoon but he did not turn up. There appear to be something fishy about this whole incident.

The Sun: So what would you want to see?

Mr. Mwamba: What I would like to see is for the company that hit into my house to rebuild it as soon as possible because we urgently need a place to stay.

Things are not alright because my wife and I are squatting with my in-laws and my children are living elsewhere.

The Sun: What change would you want to see on the road?

Mr. Mwamba: My appeal is to the relevant authorities to put humps and signposts on the Commonwealth Road. This will enable drivers to slow down at dark spots, like the T-junction, for instance and avoid accidents.

The potholes at Katabalala are very big and need to be immediately worked on.

The Sun: How much were your goods worthy?

Mr. Mwamba: It is difficult to state the total cost but all I can say is that most of the property is damaged and some of it is missing because it was stolen, including the goods in the makeshift stall (kantemba) that I was running.

Meanwhile, some residents of Lilanda Township have complained of the poor road network in the area which they said posed a danger to travelers and vehicles.

Mr. Daniel Zima, a resident, expressed disgust at the current damaged state of the roads in the area and called on the councilor to work with the government to ensure that they are urgently repaired.

“The roads need to be worked on. In their current state, they pose a danger to users, especially the children, when it rains,” he said.

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