By Mary Makhiringa – Mana.
Four people have died along Zalewa road near Phalula in Balaka on Saturday when the vehicle they were travelling in collided with a vehicle on the Vice President, Dr. Saulosi Chilima’s convoy.
Balaka Police Publicist, Felix Misomali identified the four as, Judith Kaukonde, Cecilia Phiri, Takondwa Chalemba, and the driver, Mala Kamanga.
He said the four were travelling in a Toyora Vitz, registration number BW 8173 and were driving from Chingeni-Blantyre direction when they collided with Toyota Land Cruiser V8 station wagon registration number BW 1732 driven by Wilson Chima from the Office of the Vice President.
Misomali added that, “Chima was driving the Toyota Land Cruiser V8 Station Wagon from the direction of Zalewa going towards Chingeni behind the convoy of the Vice President as a back-up vehicle with one passenger on board, Senior Superintendent, Lukasi Kapheni,”
He said on arrival at Mtima Woyera Parish near Phalula Trading Centre, the convoy was exchanging direction with the Toyota Vitz which had three passengers on board.
“In the course of exchanging direction, the driver of the Vitz lost control of his vehicle and swerved to the offside and collided with the Toyota Land Cruiser V8 Station Wagon,” the Police Publicist added.
Misomali said the impact was so great such that two female passengers, Kaukonde and Phiri on the Vitz died on spot while one male passenger, Takondwa Chalemba was pronounced dead on arrival at Phalula Health Centre.
The Vitz driver was rushed to Balaka district Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival, he said.
The Publicist added that Toyota Land Cruiser driver sustained multiple cuts on his face, bruises on the right hand while Senior Superintendent, Kapheni complained of chest pains.
Chima and Senior Superintendent Kapheni were rushed to Balaka District Hospital where they were later referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe for further medical attention.
The Vice President’s Press Officer, Pilirani Phiri said the Vice President was not affected in any way and is fine.
The late Kaukonde comes from Chibwana Village, Traditional Authority (TA) Kuntaja in Blantyre while full particulars of three other deceased were yet to be known.