Monday, September 20, 2021

Gambella has seen a wave of fatalities caused by motor vehicles in the past few years. The latest victims have been recorded in Lare Wereda. A mother of five from Riek Kebele was ran down from the side of the road by a drunken driver in Kuergeng town while another young man from Ngor Kebele was also ran down by a motor vehicle in a separate incident while trying to cross the road.

One resident of Kuergeng town could not believe what she was seeing and stressed that its very unfortunate for this woman to die that way as the overall reason for her coming to town was to attend a wedding of his relative.

Compared to Addis Ababa where there are millions of vehicles and pedestrians who share the road together, road incidents in the national capital involving pedestrians are being minimized partly due to tougher laws from the police.

However, this is a complete opposite when it comes to drivers’ behaviour in Gambella who drive with impunity. A region which lacks motor vehicles and scarily populated should not record road deaths as heavy as it is.

But sadly, we see a lot of people being killed in Gambella roads because drivers do not adhere to road rules. A person who was given a lift to Kech Chiengkuoth village from Kuergeng town told about his experience with a driver of Kuergeng local council. He mange to speak his gut out and confronted the bad driver who was speeding in a dead road to the village and told him that you either drive slowly or get me out of the car and I walk my way on foot to the village.

The driver did not reply anything back to him bad reduced the speed. All these behaviours which leads to the deaths of so many Gambellians are associated with the weaker laws as drivers know how easy they can manipulate the judicial system and walk their way to freedom.

For far too long, many pedestrians have been killed and none of the culprits faced any severe consequences or even lighter sentences.

With the situation of this woman who was killed just two days ago, there are unconfirmed reports that a discussion is now taking place between her family and the driver for compensation. This does not help the local population as it would only send another signal to the already bad and dangerous drivers that its okay to kill people in Gambella as long as you have money to bribe the police and compensate victims and their families.

The Gambella Vision would like to send a very strong message to the Gambella Politicians and the Police that this is about time that the Gambella judicial system needs an overhaul serious review and ensure that any driver who breaks the law is deal with accordingly. This traditional custodial norms needs to be shun because a human life doesn’t worth few hundreds of birr.

The police especially the traffic controller needs to have a thorough understanding of their job and ensure that drivers who break rules in a number of occasions do not drive on Gambella roads for a specified period.

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