Chief Mabhikwa of Lupane district in Matabeleland North was trapped in his vehicle for more than three hours after a horror crash which claimed his life, a close family member has revealed.

The traditional leader died after his vehicle crashed head-on with a haulage truck on the 195km peg along Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road on Sunday evening around 9 pm.

He was 28.

Born Nichodemus Vusumuzi Khumalo, he made history by becoming the youngest chief at the age of 18 in 2012.

He replaced his father Edwin Khumalo who passed on in 2006.

When CITE visited the family home in the Northend suburb in Bulawayo where some of the mourners are gathered, relatives were still coming to terms with the reality of his death.

“He was involved in an accident around 2100 hours in the evening only to reach St Lukes Hospital after midnight. We are talking about a provincial hospital which had no emergency ambulance,” said the relative.

Some of the motorists who arrived at the scene failed to retrieve him from the damaged vehicle as he was trapped inside.

“They failed to assist him since his lower body was trapped and they had no expertise on how to assist, so by the time he got to the hospital he had already lost a lot of blood, with a dislocated/ fractured hip bone,” the relative added.

In his condolence message, the Deputy President of the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs, Chief Mtshana Khumalo said the death of Chief Mabhikwa has left a huge gap in the Lupane district.

“This is a huge loss, it’s difficult because Lupane has only two chiefs as huge as it, it difficult now since he is gone,” said Chief Mtshana.

“We are expecting the government to also assist, I can’t remember how much is their assistance but when a chief dies, the Government does assist.”

Meanwhile, the body of the late youthful traditional leader is expected to leave for Lupane on Friday and the burial will be conducted at his

homestead on Saturday.