Commission investigates BR accident

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 15 January 2020   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Masisi Masisi

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has constituted a Commission of Enquiry which will investigate circumstances that led to the derailment of Botswana Railways passenger train.

The enquiry will be chaired by Chief Executive Officer of Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana  (CAAB) Olefile Moakofi  and according to a statement from the Ministry of Transport and Communications the public  hearings  will start tomorrow (Monday) at Cresta Hotel in Mahalapye.

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After the accident which happened on the 10th of December 2019 and claimed two lives of Botswana Railways employees, Minister of transport and Communications Thulaganyo Segokgo promised that he is going to set up an independent investigation team to get to the bottom of what could have caused the accident. Segokgo was later advised by the attorneys for the Botswana Railways that according to the BR Act where there are casualties the President should institute a Commission of Inquiry.

In the early hours of Tuesday 10th December last year, the nation was awoken by news that Botswana Railways passenger train enroute to Francistown from Gaborone was derailed near Bonwapitse River and claimed two crew members. The Francistown-bound train carrying around 400 passengers broke down damaging the locomotive, luggage van, generator van, buffet car and four coaches.

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Questions were raised on why Botswana Railways allowed  the movement of trains when they floods in Mahalapye and knowing that the railway line was not in a good conditions. Briefing parliament about the accident Minister Segokgo revealed that it has come to his attention that the rail coaches were not ensured and that the railway line is very old.

“The railway line was constructed initially before independence and it has been confirmed to me verbally that indeed we do not have insurance on the trains and it is a very disturbing matter which I am addressing at my ministry,” he said.

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