Speaking to Radio VOP, eye witnesses and those that had survived the accident said the lorry was not road worthy.
“We are lucky to be alive. The lorry was …not road worthy. We had no option besides using the lorry because we had no money to return to our homes,” said one of the accident victims.
Others said the lorry was overloaded while some alleged the driver was drunk.
“We were overloaded, tens of us were just clinging on the edges,” added one of the victims.
The lorry was loaned to Zanu (PF) by the party’s secretary for administration here, Edmund Mhere.
Mhere denied that his lorry was not road worthy.
“The fact that the lorry managed to ferry them from their homes to Mucheke yesterday must tell you that it is road worthy. Accidents just happen no matter how good the vehicle might be,” Mhere said.
Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tinaye Matake could not be reached for comment.
“We were not passionate about signing that thing, we only wanted to be seen in good light by these Zanu (PF) people who usually beat us if we fail to comply with their directives,” said another villager who preferred anonymity.
Mugabe launched the anti sanctions petition two weeks ago in which he is seeking millions of signatures to protest the targeted sanctions imposed on him and senior members of his party by the west. He argues that the sanctions are the cause of the current crisis in Zimbabwe.
Last week the media was awash of reports of school children and other members of society being forced to sign the petition by Zanu (PF) youths and war veterans.
Mugabe has called for elections this year to end the shaky two year government coalition while Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said an election should only be held after a road map by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The South African President Jacob Zuma, who is the mediator in Zimbabwe, this week, sent his facilitators to Zimbabwe amid protests by Tsvangirai’s MDC that the country has been plunged into a crisis through violence perpetrated by Zanu (PF) members and arbitrary arrests of MDC officials on trumped up charges.