By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Today tragically marks the first anniversary of the horrific Grootfontein-Rundu accident in which 28 Namibians perished. Most Namibians will always remember this day when the lives of innocent men, women and even children were lost in an accident on the road between Grootfontein and Rundu. In marking this day one year later, the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund of Namibia (MVA) together with the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) will be holding a commemoration in remembrance of those Namibians who died in what is considered the most horrific road accident since independence. The event will be held at the Memorial Park gravesite where the 28 were buried last year, with hundreds of Namibians from all walks of life in attendance. It was shortly after this tragedy that President Hifikepunye Pohamba expressed sadness and shock over these deaths, which occurred after a passenger bus and a truck laden with copper collided some 30 km from Grootfontein. At the time of addressing the press at State House last year the President said: “Fellow Namibians, with great sadness and shock and a heavy heart I announce that last night on May 31, 2005, our country suffered a tragedy in which 28 people lost their lives in a horrific road accident that occurred between 9 and 10 o’clock last night.” The Head of State also noted that this was the first time since Independence that the country has suffered such a huge loss of human lives in a single road accident. The entire nation joined the inhabitants of Kavango Region in mourning when there was a huge outpouring of grief at the town. The 28 deceased were laid at their final resting place called the Memorial Park situated in the middle of the town. The unique mass gravesite is reported to be 33 100 meters in length, two meters deep and has a width of 2 960 meters. During the tribute event today, the keynote speech will be delivered by the Minister of Safety and Security Peter Tsheehama. Other speeches will include a road safety statement by the Minister of Works, Transport and Communication Joel Kaapanda, followed by another statement by the Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. According to the pro-gramme, there will also be the laying of wreaths accompanied by the singing of hymns. It is stated that this will be done according to rank. Furthermore, other speakers will be the Kavango Regional Governor John Thighuru, Chief Executive Officer of the MVA Fund of Namibia Jerry Mwadino-hamba as well as Queen Matumbo Ribebe of the Sambyu ethnic group.
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