A 21-year-old man from the Oshikoto Region was arrested on suspicion that he detonated rockets and other explosives at his home village of Okangororosa near Omuthiya last week.
The Oshikoto police revealed that Abraham Kanduwa put several rockets and other unexploded ordnance on a fire on Wednesday last week and ran to some nearby trees from where he observed the rockets exploding.
Kanduwa apparently collected the explosives from Onamanyoka village in the same region a month earlier and decided to detonate them to show the community that he is not a man to trifle with. The Oshikoto Explosives Unit was informed shortly afterwards by the local community at Okangororsa village that several loud explosions were heard in the area.
The ordnance he reportedly detonated include four 20 mm rounds of high explosives, one 60 mm mortar rocket and two 90 mm rounds of high explosives – all of South African origin. The suspect reportedly confessed to the police, telling them he set the explosives on fire and ran as fast as he could to hide behind nearby trees, from where he watched the bombs explode.
When asked by police investigators whether he knew that what he was doing was risky, Kanduwa said he knew, but he somehow “felt good” when the ordnance exploded in the fire. He, however, admitted that he has since developed a hearing problem. “I now have a hearing problem because of the blasts,” he confessed.
He said he had found the explosives in a hole he dug at the village where he works as a cattleherder. After he was questioned by the police the case against him was withdrawn, but he was warned not to play with or touch unexploded ordnance, as this put his and other people’s lives in danger.
The police also reiterated their call on communities not to touch unexploded ordinance, but to report any explosives in their surroundings to avoid unnecessary injury or death. As a former warzone the Oshikoto Region is still littered with landmines and other explosives.