Unique send off for truck driver

The Herald

Leroy Kandeya Correspondent
While others have their bodies conveyed by hearses to their final resting places when they die, a Dombashava man had his body transported to the cemetery in a unique way recently. It all started when fellow workers at Liquid Cargo Africa suggested that Mr Arthur Chikasha (45)’s body be transported to the burial place on a fuel tanker. And this was not an ordinary fuel tanker.

On September 18, Mr Chikasha was involved in a fatal accident which claimed his life while on his way to Liquid Cargo Africa depot where he worked as a fuel tanker driver.

He was supposed to drive off with a fuel tanker loaded with 20 000 litres of diesel for delivery to a client. The fact that he never made it to the depot brought much sorrow to his fellow workers. They then convinced management that the best way to honour their colleague was to let the same fuel tanker Mr Chikasha was supposed to drive, together with its 20 000 litres of diesel load, be used to carry his body.

Residents of Domboshava were left in awe as they watched the fuel tanker carrying Mr Chikasha’s body approach the area.

This was on September 20, and after formalities, Mr Chikasha’s body was transported to the cemetery atop the fuel tanker. He had been involved in the accident at the corner of Seke Road and Glenara Avenue in Harare while on his way to work two days before. Mr Chikasha was travelling in his Nissan Sunny with his family, with the intention of leaving the smaller car with his wife, while he takes his already loaded 20 000 litre diesel-truck for delivery.

Little did he know that the same truck, still fully loaded, will be used to transport his body to the cemetery. His car was rammed into by a Ford Ranger believed to have been chasing suspected criminals who had abducted a woman in Mbare. Asked why they had to carry Mr Chikasha’s body using the fuel tanker to his resting place, founder and director of Liquid Cargo Africa Mr Danmore Mambondiyani (28) said the decision was made after the idea came from his fellow workers.

Mr Chikasha’s workmates at Liquid Cargo Africa convinced the management that since he had died in the course of the duty he was dedicated to do, it was a befitting send off to use the same truck for the funeral procession.

“He was a man who never went home without completing a task, hence it was befitting that his truck carries him to his final resting place before offloading the fuel he was supposed to deliver when tragedy struck,” said Mr Mambondiayani. He described Mr Chikasha as a father figure and a friend who was devoted and dedicated to his work. On the day of the funeral, Mr Mambondiyani instructed all Liquid Cargo Africa depots and fuel stations to shut down in honour of Mr Chikasha.

Besides celebrating his deceased driver in such a unique manner, Domboshava residents and the Chikasha family were left emotionally touched when Mr Mambondiyani pledged to cater for the Chikasha family, including paying his salary for the next 12 months.

The visibly emotional youthful businessman could not hide his pain as he delivered a moving speech in memory of his employee whom he looked up to so much.

He said Mr Chikasha would be remembered in the history of his company.

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