Mazhandu appeals against suspension

MAZHANDU Family Bus Services has appealed to the Minister of Transport and Communication, Brian Mushimba, against the decision by Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to suspend its service licence on grounds that it was made in bad faith.
Mazhandu Family Bus Services lawyer Tutwa Ngulube said in an interview yesterday that the appeal has been lodged with Mr Mushimba so that he can amicably address the matter.
Mr Ngulube said the decision to suspend the operating licence for Mazhandu Family Bus Services by RTSA was excessive and made in bad faith.
“Yes, we know one bus was involved in an accident, one driver was involved but not all the drivers and not all the buses,” he said.
Mr Ngulube said all the other routes have been affected by the suspension and all workers have been pushed out of employment as a result of the suspension.
He wondered why RTSA did not give Mazhandu Family Bus Services a chance to exculpate itself as opposed to issuing a statement in the media.
Mr Ngulube, however, said the accident was not mechanical and stated that all the buses are roadworthy.
“We have offered RTSA to retest all the drivers and all the buses to ensure safety,” he said.
On Tuesday, 10 people died while 25 others sustained injuries after a Kitwe-bound Mazhandu bus collided with a truck in Kapiri Mposhi near Vuba Farm.
RTSA subsequently suspended the operating licence for Mazhandu Family Bus Services.
RTSA chief executive officer Zindaba Soko said preliminary investigations revealed that the accident was caused by over-speeding.
Mazhandu Family Bus Services has a workforce of 230 and a fleet of 52 buses.
Meanwhile, CHISHALA MUSONDA reports that President Lungu is saddened by the death of the 10 people in Tuesday’s accident.
The President has conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.
Conveying President Lungu’s message of condolence to Alderman Tom Mtine whose nephew Crispin and his wife Petronella died in the accident, Copperbelt minister Bowman Lusambo said Government is mourning with the families of the 10 victims.
Six of those that died in the accident were Ndola residents.
The others were Misozi Mikasu and her daughter Lowani, Lydia Chiti and Esther Lufunda.
“It is devastating to lose two members of the family at the same time,” Mr Lusambo said in a message delivered by Ndola district commissioner George Chisulo, who visited the houses of mourning on Wednesday.
“The President is saddened by the loss of lives in an accident and is mourning with the grieving families,” he said when delivering foodstuffs.

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