Outgoing Ohangwena Regional Governor Usko Nghaamwa was airlifted last week to a Windhoek hospital after he sustained serious injuries during an accident in which he hit a cattle herder with his Land Cruiser. The 31-year-old cattle herder, described as kind-hearted and hard working person, died on the spot. The incident occurred last Thursday night on a gravel road about 2km from the Tsintsabis Veterinary gate in the Oshikoto Region. At the time of the accident, Nghaamwa was believed to be travelling south of the cordon fence to his farm in the Tsintsabis area. He was airlifted to the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek and his condition this week has been described as stable. A case of culpable homicide has been opened. Nghaamwa is expected to be sworn in as a parliamentarian later this month, after resigning as governor to take up his new post.
The man he bumped at about 21:00 last Thursday with his metallic grey Land Cruiser, Benceau Vanyenga, was crossing the road at the time. At the time of his death Vanyenga, who was affectionately known as Ben, was employed as a cattle herder by Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) Ohangwena Regional Secretary Timo Shikongo. “He was a very good man. You would always find him busy on the farm and he was very kind to everyone. He will be missed,” said Shikongo. Vanyenga will be buried today at the Roman Catholic graveyard at Onegali village in the Ohangwena Region.
Oshikoto Deputy Commissioner William Peter confirmed the accident. “What is clear to us at this stage is that it was dark when the accident occurred. There are no lights along that road and there is a lot of tall grass,” said Peter. Nghaamwa is the latest government official to be involved in a serious vehicle accident, following a series of crashes last year in which high-profile politicians were either killed or injured. Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Willem Isaacks died on October 9 outside Keetmanshoop, after crashing his government issue Toyota double cab bakkie. The deputy minister was alone at the time of the accident.
In December last year, local government minister Charles Namoloh tragically ran over a toddler along the Oshikango Road while on his way to meet President Hifikepunye Pohamba. The Office of the Prosecutor-General will decide what happens next with the culpable homicide docket in that matter. In January, Transport Minister Erkki Nghimtina crashed his Volvo SUV into a lorry and was airlifted to Windhoek from Otjiwarongo. The accident took place at the turn-off to the Etunda Fuel Station, situated 30km outside Otavi. A government truck transporting maize destined for the Tsumkwe Constituency, as part of the drought relief programme, was the other vehicle involved in the crash. OSHAKATI MERJA IILEKA