WHO reveals Zimbabwe has deadliest roads in southern Africa

New figures show that Zimbabwe has the highest rate of fatal road accidents in southern Africa.

FILE: Police officers manning a check point quiz a driver going into the central business district on 20 April 2020, in Emakhandeni township, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Picture: AFP.

New figures show that Zimbabwe has the highest rate of fatal road accidents in southern Africa.

The data, provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) this week, revealed that five people die every day and that a crash occurred every 15 minutes.

According to the WHO’s Road Safety Performance Review, an estimated 665 people were killed each year in traffic accidents on Zimbabwe’s roads.

This toll was said to average out at 35 deaths per 100,000 people - the highest in the region.

By comparison, South Africa loses an average of 25.9 people per 100,000, Namibia 30, Malawi 31 and Botswana 23.

According to the research, road accidents in Zimbabwe increased by nearly 35% between 2011 and 2019.

In that time Zimbabweans bought many more second-hand cars - 700,000 or so.

Since very few new roads were built in this time, Zimbabwe’s highways have become much more crowded and deadly as have central business districts, especially in Harare, which was regularly gridlocked.