1995 Kawambwa accident survivor calls govt for assistance

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–A survivor of the 1995 fatal Kawambwa road accident, which claimed the lives of 42 Kawambwa High School pupils leaving 5 victims seriously injured, has appealed to government to fulfil its pledge of education sponsorship for the accident victim.
Festus Kapambwe, 27, appealed to government to honour the undertaking as it promised to take responsibility of the five victims’ education costs through to tertiary level among other pledges.

Kapambwe told ZANIS in Luanshya that he was in Grade 10 at the time of the accident which left him crippled and was now aided by the use of a wheel chair.

He said government, through the Ministry of Education, had promised to take full responsibility of the accident survivors’ education costs as a form of compensation to the victims.

Kapambwe, who appealed to government to assist him with settling tuition fees for his teaching course he is currently undertaking at Nkrumah University, said he was faced with various challenges which included mobility.

“Government only paid for the secondary level and up to now it has not offered any assistance to any of us. I am now a third year student at Nkrumah University and have struggled to get to where I am.

“Due to my condition it is not easy for me to source money for my education and for a long time now I have been lobbying government to come to my aid.” Kapambwe complained.

He, however, thanked government for saving his life through the medical assistance rendered during the accident time as he had sustained serious multiple head and body injuries.

Kapambwe further appealed to well wishers to come to his aid and four others as they were rendered vulnerable and physically incapacitated by the multiple injuries suffered during the accident.

In 1995, light truck carrying about 50 Kawambwa High School pupils in Kawambwa district in Northern Province overturned, leaving 44 people dead with 5 others seriously injured.

The accident stirred criticism from various stakeholders, condemning the school and government for overloading and using the Fuso truck to ferry pupils.

Government, through the Ministry of Health, evacuated the five injured accident victims to Lusaka to access specialist medical services.

Government further dispatched coffins and flags for the 42 high school pupils and two others who died in the tragic accident and were buried at a communal burial site in Kawambwa.