Accident: fortunate in misfortune

“A PDC vehicle was involved in an accident yesterday, but thankfully the two staff, Washington Moyo (driving) and Thomas Mutonhori, walked away with only minor injuries. No other vehicle or persons were involved. Washington lost control of the car on an incline and went off the road into a ditch, which flipped the car over, tearing of the roof in the process. We were making our way to Mana Pools, where Washington and Thomas were to be based until the end of August. I was driving some 20 minutes behind them and arrived at the scene fearing the worse when I saw the extent of the accident. I was able to contact the PDC office with the assistance of Ron van der A in Holland, using the satellite phone that WCN gave us a couple of years ago. David Kuvawoga arrived with Dought Nkomo, Enock Zulu, Dominic Nyathi, Ganizani Piri and Melusi Sibanda in three PDC vehicles, and Dominic took Washington and Thomas to St Patrick’s Hospital as a precaution. Enock Zulu, as a former police officer, recorded all that is required by the police when reporting such incidents. Then we began the process of extracting the vehicle from the dry river bed. The help from the local people was extraordinary. Paul Muleya, a local shop owner was first on the scene with his friend Lloyd Ngwena. They were a tremendous help in getting the guys out of the vehicle and generally clearing everything up while we waited for David etc…. to arrive. They were also a major help in extracting the car from the river bed. Paul sat with me and told me how Tonga (their tribe) traditions encourage (if that’s the right word) them to help others, as you never know when you will need help yourself. That everyone you meet should be treated as your brother, father, sister, mother as the case may be, because one day you will need someone to treat you just the same. It was really lovely to hear such a story. I towed the car back to PDC  approx 200km). The accident compromises our operations as the vehicle is a write-off. It was used for tracking painted dogs and also deploying anti poaching. So we will have to try and source the funds to buy another as quickly as possible.” Peter Blinston