One person injured, two buffalo killed in Mikumi road crash   

12Jan 2022
The Guardian
One person injured, two buffalo killed in Mikumi road crash   

TWO buffalo died and one person sustained serious injuries following a car accident occurred at the Mikumi National Park-along Morogoro-Mbeya highway.

Morogoro Regional Police Commander, SACP Fotunatus Muslim.

The incident occurred after Makambako resident Thobias Mbilinyi in Njombe region hit the buffalo while passing through the 50km-section of a Dar es Salaam-Mbeya highway road in the park.

Morogoro Regional Police Commander, SACP Fotunatus Muslim said the accident in which Mbilinyi was seriously injured occurred on January 10, around 7am.

He said the accident involved a Toyota Crown with registration number T995 DLF driven by Mbilinyi (causality) with initial report showing that the source was speeding.

“Traffic rules require drivers to drive 70km/hour during daytime and 50km/hour during night in the park, but some drivers have been disobeying the rules. Mbilinyi did the same by speeding thus causing the accident,” SACP Muslim said.

He noted that the victim of the accident was taken to Mikumi health centre, later to the Morogoro Regional Referral Hospital where he was referred to Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) due to serious injuries to his head and neck.

Commander Muslim, they expect to take to the victim to court to face his charges once he is discharged from hospital and his health is stabilized.

Doctor in charge at the Morogoro Regional Referral Hospital Daniel Nkungu confirmed receiving the casualty at around 5am from Mikumi and had sustained serious injuries on his face and neck and after the first emergency service which lasted about an hour before he was transported to Muhimbili.

Acting Conservator at the Mikumi National Park Herman Mtei said the two buffalo were valued at US$1900 each and that the suspect would be given various punishments according to the incident.

“The penalties that the suspect will have to pay include an environment pollution fine in the park of 50,000/-, a speeding fine of 50,000/-, a fine for causing an accident in the park 200,000 as well as a fine for hitting the buffalos which is ay US$1900 each,” Mtei said.

Mikumi National Park is south of Selous Game Reserve, the two areas forming a unique ecosystem and is bordered by the Udzungwa Mountains and Uluguru Mountain. It is passed by a 50km-section of a highway road used by vehicles going to or from neighbouring Zambia, Malawi and as far as Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

Reports show that over 200 animals are killed annually due to car accidents.

However, the government, in recognition of this, began the process of constructing a tarmac level at the Turiani-Magole-Dumila-Rudewa-Kilosa Road to Mikumi to, among other things; alleviate the current need for motorists to cross the park.

The road which was to be built in phases also includes its continuation from Turiani-Kilindi to Handeni in Tanga Region is not yet to be completed thus forcing road users to continue using the road that passes through the Mikumi National Park.