Police statement on fatal accident involving pilgrims

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This is to inform the public, that the police in Iganga registered a tragic hit and run accident, by the driver of taxi Reg.no UBD 760W, which claimed the lives of 4 Kenyan pilgrims and injured 7 others, who were travelling on foot from Bungoma, Kenya to Namugongo Martyrs shrines, for the annual pilgrimage. The incident occurred today 26th, May, 2019, at around 5:30 am at Bulaga village, along the Iganga –Jinja highway.

Two of the pilgrims who died on the spot have been identified as Obanga Ashiuma Geoffrey, 48 of Naitiri, Bungoma and Roseline Wanjala 51yrs, of Kisoko, Busia, while an additional two victims who succumbed to the injuries at Nakavule Hospital, were identified as Sara Adiambo Ouko of Busia  and Madinde Evelyn, also of Busia Kenya.  A total of 7 other victims, were rushed to hospital out of whom, one Gladys Malinda, is still admitted in critical condition, while four others were transferred to Busia, Kenya by the Catholic community for further treatment. The remaining two, who had minor injuries that included; Mary Cossillota and Cavan Namwalo, proceeded with their journey to Namugongo.

A specialized traffic investigation team that was immediately dispatched to the area, has in its preliminary findings, indicated the cause of the accident as reckless driving due to poor visibility, as it was raining heavily. The team is meanwhile working to establish the identity of the driver, who escaped from the scene, for arrest and subsequent prosecution.

We would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies and prayers to the deceased persons and their families and further wish the injured victims a quick recovery. Arrangements are in place to support the families of the deceased persons, as well as the injured victims during this trying moment. Bodies to the deceased persons were examined and plans to transport them to Kenya in place, in close coordination with the team leader.

We would also like to use this opportunity, to reassure all intending pilgrims that extensive precautions to ensure the security and safety of all pilgrims, including those trekking on foot, had been put in place. In this very instance, the group of pilgrims had been escorted the previous day, by Bugiri police, and handed over to Iganga Police. They slept at St Peters Catholic Church and were to resume their journey at 6 am, under police escort, but preferred to leave much earlier they had covered close to 7kms, by the time the tragic incident occurred.

All territorial commanders have been instructed to effectively secure all pilgrims on their way to Namugongo, to avoid a repeat of such tragic occurrence.


CP Fred Enanga

Press and Public Relations Officer

Uganda Police Force 26th.05.2019

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