President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared last night’s Tsholotsho accident, which claimed 21 lives, a state of disaster.

This was said in a statement by the Director Civil Protection, Nathan Nkomo, who added that the declaration was made in terms of Section 27(1) of the Civil Protection Act.

He also said the responsible authorities are working on modalities to have the bereaved families get state assistance so as to accord their departed loved ones a decent burial.

Those injured in the accident will also receive government assistance.

The accident occurred when the driver of the Nissan UD truck belonging to the Ministry of Health and Child Care lost control of the vehicle, which veered off the road to the right and overturned several times before landing on its roof.

Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said 15 people died on the spot, while the other six died upon admission at Tsholotsho District Hospital.

 The Ministry of Health and Child Care has since issued a statement saying the accident victims were part of a 71-member Matabeleland North provincial crew of indoor residual spray operators and supervisors who were on duty spraying homes to control malaria.