By REBECCA MUSHOTA –
CONFUSION broke out in Ndola yesterday when a man who was among some mourners waiting for a relative’s body from a mortuary died after being hit by a minibus which was involved in a car chase.
Joseph Mulenga, 50, of 3403 Nkwazi Township in Ndola, was among some mourners outside Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital (ADH) around 11:00 hours when he was hit by a minibus whose driver was being pursued by traffic police officers.
A Times team found an angry mob at the accident scene that accused traffic police officers of unnecessary excitement and called on authorities to stop the chasing of erring bus drivers.
Other mourners who could not bear the double tragedy they had suffered descended on the bus driver with kicks and stones.
Some eyewitnesses said the mob descended on the driver and the three police officers who were allegedly chasing the bus driver, but they were all whisked away by some soldiers from Kalewa Barracks.
According to the eyewitnesses, the mourners were waiting for a body of a child to be released from the ADH mortuary in readiness for burial.
They said Mr Mulenga and other mourners were seated outside the hospital fence when a Navy blue Toyota Regius Ace, registration number ACX 13, went speeding on Kalewa Road towards the hospital.
The eyewitnesses said the bus lost control at the point where the road turns into Boundary Road opposite ADH.
The bus drove straight towards the hospital fence and overturned on top of a sewer ditch.
The people on the roadside scampered for safety as they saw the bus coming.
The eyewitnesses said some members of the public hauled the bus driver out of the bus after which they found Mr Mulenga trapped underneath.
Mr Mulenga’s sister-in-law Marjorie Chibeka said they found Mr Mulenga already dead in the ditch.
Ms Chibeka was with the widow who wept uncontrollably.
Acting Copperbelt Police Commissioner Joyce Kasosa in an interview said the bus driver, Francis Banda, 35, of 6416 Masala Township in Ndola, was driving on Kwacha Road when he noticed a police checkpoint at Kansenshi Police Station and abruptly turned onto Kalewa Road.
She said Banda hit into another vehicle which gave chase.
Ms Kasosa said when Banda lost control, he hit Lawrence Chanda, 26, of Masala who sustained injuries and was treated at Ndola Central Hospital, and Mr Mulenga who died on the spot.
She said the car that was giving chase had at this point turned back and reported the matter to the police.
Ms Kasosa said Banda, whose whereabouts she could not immediately state, did not sustain any injuries.
She said the bus had shattered windows and a cracked windscreen as a result of the accident.