Zimbabwean authorities Thursday said a road accident that claimed at least 46 lives would be declared a national disaster.
The deaths occurred when two buses collided on Wednesday on a road between the capital Harare and the eastern border town of Mutare.
According to the state broadcaster, 45 people died on the spot and another one at a hospital in the nearby town of Rusape.
The government said the accident also left 61 people injured.
“The accident occurred at the 166km peg on the Harare-Mutare Road, just after the Rusape tollgate drifting towards Harare,” police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said.
“The accident involved a Bolt Cutter bus that was heading towards Mutare, which collided with a Smart Express bus, which was going to Harare.”
The driver of one of the buses was reportedly trying to overtake a haulage truck and encroached into the lane of the oncoming one, resulting in the accident.
Witnesses said the driver and his assistant survived the crash and fled the scene.
Hundreds of people die in road accidents in Zimbabwe every year due to human error, poor maintenance of highways and unroadworthy vehicles.