A Namibian Defence Force (NDF) soldier died on the spot and nine others sustained minor to serious injuries on Thursday when the vehicle they were travelling in overturned after its driver lost control along the Bukalo-Muyako road, some 50km outside Katima Mulilo.
The vehicle involved in the fatal accident is an olive green military truck with registration number NDF 5581. The nine survivors were immediately rushed to Katima Mulilo State Hospital. One of them was in a critical condition and he had to be operated on as his intestines were exposed.
However, by late Thursday afternoon he was reported to be in a stable condition and doctors were confident that he would make a full recovery. The other five suffered moderate injuries and were all in a stable condition, while three others, including the driver, escaped the accident with only superficial injuries.
It is not clear what caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, but there was speculation among bystanders that the driver was possibly speeding and when he reached a sharp turn in the road was unable to control the vehicle, hence it veered off the road and overturned.
The group was travelling to Muyako to attend a roadshow campaign on HIV/AIDS, conducted by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. Speaking at the roadshow campaign the councillor of Katima Mulilo rural Warden Simushi requested those who were at the campaign to observe a minute of silence in honour of the departed soldier.
Simushi went on to say the accident happened because the road is in a bad condition. “Our road is in a bad condition and at that corner where the accident occurred the road is uneven and that contributed to the vehicle to overturn. If the road was in a good condition that accident could have been avoided,” Simushi complained.
He further said the latest incident grieves his heart and he would see to it that by next year the road is tarred. Simushi was also unhappy that gravel was transported from Muyako area to go construct roads elsewhere, while the Muyako road is in a poor condition.
“I’m not happy with this. How can gravel be taken from here to construct other roads… However, I will see to it that this road is tarred by next year,” Simushi vowed.
* Aron Mushaukwa is an information officer at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT).