By Grace Kapatuka and Chimwemwe Kamdende
The Malawi Government has described the death of 21 people who lost their lives in a road accident at Kampepuza in Ntcheu on Friday as a great loss to the nation.
Delivering a message of condolence from President Peter Mutharika at Nkonde village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Champiti in Ntcheu on Saturday, DPP’s Presidential Running mate, Everton Chimulirenji said the President is saddened and shocked with the death of the 21 people.
“As government we are shocked with this great loss. For development activities to take place, a country needs people like the ones we have lost. Losing 21 people at once is a big blow to the nation,” Chimulirenji who is also Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development.
The Minister was speaking during burial ceremony of 11 people from Nkonde village said it was sad and painful for a village to lose 11 people at once.
“This is a sad development for people of Nkonde. The President is sending out a message of condolence to you all and all the affected families that have lost their loved ones during the tragedy,” he said.
He announced that government has since supported the affected families with K 6.3 million to the bereaved families where each family got K 50,000 for coffin and K 250,000 for other funeral arrangements and related costs.
About 17 people were killed on spot in an accident at Kampepuza Market in Ntcheu on Friday morning after a truck carrying relief maize from Dodma rammed into the crowd at the market and injuring several others in process.
Four others died some hours later in the course of receiving medical treatment at Ntcheu district hospital and Kamuzu central hospital where they were referred for further treatment.
Meanwhile, Police Publicist for Ntcheu, Hastings Chigalu and Ministry of Health Spokesperson, Joshua Malango have confirmed that the death toll has risen to 21.
Currently, 22 people are still admitted to Ntcheu and Kamuzu Central Hospital where they are receiving medical treatment.
On Friday the President directed that Cabinet Ministers should preside over burial of the 21 people in Ntcheu.
Police have since arrested the driver of the truck whose registration number was CA 1152 and is yet to be charged.
According to the burial program for Ministers, Chimulirenji presided over the burial of 11 people at Nkonde village in TA Champiti, Ministere of Industyr Trade and toirsims, Francis Kasaila was at Kalimwayi village in TA Kwataine, while Ministrer of Agriculture, Joseph Mwanamvekha, MMinisterr of Justice, Samuel Tembenu and Ministere of Lands, dr. Jean Kalirani presided over the burial ceremonies in other Traditional Authorities that were involved.