By Martin Muleya.

MUTARE, Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) drivers dominated this year`s 2017 edition of the Driver of the Year national finals held in the eastern border city a fortnight ago.

The two day annual competition drew participants from the provincial winners across the country and a total of 65 drivers with a valid defensive driving certificate, driver’s licence to be part of the competition that entailed a written examination and a practical navigation of the hurdles put on the road as well as a road test inspected by the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) officials.

ZNA`s Norbert Chatikobo and Robert Tazvitya emerged winners in the Rigid Lorry category.

For their sterling effort, Tazvitya walked away with $700 and a flouting trophy while Chatikobo grabbed a $500 cash prize.

In the articulated category, ZNA officer Kisinati Nyathi of Harare landed the pole position and walked away $1000 while Mcabango Dube of Bulawayo came second

The power utility Zimbabwe Electricity and Distribution Company (ZETDC) also made their presence felt through the efforts of Gift Frank who came third in the Rigid lorry category and walked away with $200 as consolation prize.

Tonderai Chiringa came out as the overall winner newly introduced category of Commuter omnibus. For his efforts, Chiringa walked away with $400 and a flouting trophy while Taurai Madzimbamuto came second. Blessing Razemba came a distant third.

In the bus category, Joel Dera of Unki came first and won $900 and a floating trophy while Norman Ranganai of Masvingo came second. Jacob Mangwende of Africa University settled for a third position.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Cde Mandi Chimene said the country’s roads had become the enemy of human lives.

She, however, said the public were also to blame as they have also contributed to carnage in the road.

“Our country’s roads have become enemy to human lives. The Driver of the Year competition came at a time when we have lost lots of lives on our roads.

“One such accident that quickly comes to mind is the Inter Africa Plumtree-Mutare bound, road accident that occurred near Shamhu business centre in Odzi, where 19 lives were lost as the driver fell asleep due to fatigue,” said Cde Chimene.

The Minister added: “Each time there is an accident, it is usually the drivers who are blamed but the reality is not in all instances are our drivers found on the wrong side of the law. Some of these accidents are caused by pedestrians themselves”.

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