Train Carrying Mnangagwa’s Chrome Involved In Fatal Accident
21 February 2024
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By Farai D Hove | Analysis| In a tragic turn of events Monday evening, a catastrophic derailment occurred involving a National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) train, tragically claiming the lives of three individuals. This was no ordinary cargo train; it was laden with valuable chrome proceeds, jointly owned by Zimbabwe’s own Emmerson Mnangagwa, destined for the port of Beira.

The NRZ, in a somber announcement, revealed that the train comprised 14 wagons, among them nine filled with export chrome concentrates and five with granite blocks. This significant cargo, partially owned by Mnangagwa, underscores the gravity of the incident not just in terms of human loss but also economic implications.

The derailment was reportedly caused by a severe brake failure. The mechanical malfunction rendered the train unable to manage a sharp curve along its route between Mutare and Machipanda, leading to a devastating plunge into a gorge. The severity of the incident was such that the three NRZ crew members on board were tragically trapped and could not survive the ordeal.

As the NRZ extends its condolences to the families of the deceased crew members, the focus also shifts to the shared ownership of the chrome cargo by Mnangagwa, highlighting the broader impact of this accident on the country’s economic interests and the personal stakes of one of Zimbabwe’s most prominent figures.

Preliminary investigations have been initiated to pinpoint the exact cause of the brake failure and consequent derailment. The incident not only raises significant concerns over the safety measures and maintenance practices of the NRZ but also casts a spotlight on the responsibilities of those owning the cargo being transported, including Mnangagwa, to ensure that such valuable shipments are carried safely.

The tragic loss of life is at the forefront of this incident, compounded by the loss of significant national resources. As the investigation continues, there is a pressing call for stringent safety protocols and maintenance checks to safeguard against future tragedies. The nation now looks for answers and assurances that effective measures will be put in place to prevent similar occurrences, especially when the transport involves economically crucial cargo owned by high-profile figures such as Mnangagwa.

The implications of this derailment are far-reaching, affecting not just the immediate families of the deceased but also touching on the economic fabric of Zimbabwe, given the involvement of Mnangagwa’s jointly owned chrome. Further updates are awaited as the NRZ and relevant authorities continue their investigation into this tragic event.