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By JOHN SAKALA
The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) says the driver of the Solwezi bus which left five people dead had no driving licence.
RTSA Head – Public Relations Fredrick Mubanga said the accident left five people dead and 15 injured on October 27, this year in Solwezi could have been avoided had the owner of the bus and the driver paid particular attention to road safety.
According to a media statement, Mr Mubanga said the investigations into the cause of the crash had revealed that the accident involving a Toyota Regius Minibus, registration number ATB 4185ZM was caused by failure to adhere to recommended speed limit.
He said the bus is believed to have been moving at excessive speed.
“Further, it was established that the driver was not licenced to drive a public service vehicle, the bus was overloaded by seven (07) passengers and was using retreaded tyres at the rear left.
“The RTSA is of the view that the owner of the bus Mr. Martin Mutale acted irresponsibly by permitting an unlicenced driver to drive the vehicle thereby, exposing the travelling public to danger resulting in five people losing their lives and others being injured as indicated above,” he said.
And in a letter dated October 30, 2019, RTSA Acting Director and Chief Executive Officer Gladwell Banda requested the operator, Mutale of Solwezi to show cause in view of the foregoing, within seven (7) days why the Road Service Licence should not be suspended or revoked for failure to comply with conditions subject to which it was granted.
The Acting Director is invoking powers under section 108 of the Act to either suspend or revoke the road service licence as it is considered in view of the Agency that the operator did not give due regard to the safety of other road users and the Agency has a responsibility of ensuring the safety of the travelling public.
Section 108 (16) of the road Traffic Act No. 11 of 2002 states that “A road service licence may be revoked or suspended in whole or in part or its terms or conditions may be varied by the Director on the ground that any condition subject to which the licence or a variation was granted has not been complied with”
Mr Mubanga said RTSA in collaboration with the Zambia Police will ensure the driver, Geoffrey Kyalande is prosecuted on five counts of causing death by dangerous driving among other charges.