The Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST) has welcomed President Edgar Lungu’s appointment of Kabwe Central Member of Parliament, James Kapyanga as Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications.
On Tuesday, President Lungu appointed Kapyanga to take over from Richwell Siamunene who has been elevated to cabinet as Minister of Defence.
ZRST Chairman Daniel Mwamba said in a statement that Hon. Kapyanga is coming at a time when the transport industry is in need of a total overhaul considering the ever-increasing number of road accidents, which calls for strong political will to address.
Mwamba disclosed that the Trust has identified several factors such as speeding and misjudging distance as the biggest cause of accidents.
And Mwamba has bemoaned the death of five members of the same family who were killed monday morning in a road accident that killed seven people and seriously injured others in the Copperbelt. He has since urged motorists to “kill their speed” instead of killing themselves and other innocent road users.
He revealed that road traffic figures from 2014 police data show that out of 32,000 reported accidents, nearly 10,000 accidents were as a result of driver speeding and misjudging the distance, citing speeding as being responsible for about 70% of road accidents in Zambia.
He said last year, 1858 people were reported killed, 5,371 seriously injured and a further 7,706 had minor injuries. He further revealed that in the previous 7 years, road accident deaths have increased by nearly 50% citing a report by the Ministry of Health.
Mwamba states that it is such a grim picture that calls for a man of Kapyanga’s calibre who has been active partnering with the Trust’s activities to address road accidents causes.
“I have worked closely with Mr. Kapyanga, who gave us massive support in our crusade and campaigns to lessen car accidents. I have no doubt that the man will perform better in his new portfolio,” said Mwamba.
He said the combination of the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications, Yamfwa Mukanga and Kapyanga will bring forth the required new energy in the industry and that his Trust will support the duo in saving lives on Zambian roads.