Uganda: Lake Victoria boat tragedy, Death toll rises

By Samuel Baker BYANSI.

By Sunday midday, according to the Uganda police on their twitter account, at least 30 bodies had been recovered, 27 have been rescued and many still missing after a boat upturned in Lake Victoria.

Bodies of the deceased have been taken to Kampala City Mortuary for post-mortem as search and rescue operation continues.

“It is a sad moment. UPDF and UPF marine units continue on a search and rescue mission on the waters of Lake Victoria for survivors and those perished in the boat cruise from KK beach,” said army spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire in a statement.

There was no immediate information on the number of passengers aboard neither the vessel, nor the reason why it sunk.

It was reported to have been carrying more than 100 revellers. Police said last night that they had rescued more than 40 people alive.

Prince David Wasajja, a brother to Buganda King Ronald Mutebi, singer Iryn Namubiru and city businessman, John Fredrick Kiyimba commonly known as Freeman were among those rescued.

According to our source who is at Mutima beach says UPDF and UPF marine units are retrieving more bodies.

“The area LCIII chairperson Patrick Ssajjabi says more bodies have been retrieved from the water this morning. Another man identified as Derrick Owekyo, a resident of Mpatta Island in Mukono District, died in attempt to rescue others,” says Mr Ssajjabi.

Another of the deceased has been identified as Sheila Mbonimpa, a mother of three and wife to former Kampala City Authority (KCCA) staff, David Ntege who died of heart attack in October last year. She was a sister to UBC TV deputy managing director, Mr Maurice Mugisha. The last post she made on her Facebook wall on October 14 is a photo of her two daughters. 

A-Google-map-showing-the-location-of-Lake-Victoria

“I just communicated with you yesterday (Saturday) morning after a very long time, little did I know that it was a reunion and farewell, It is so sad that you’ve left this life at such a young age. I pray that God receives your soul in his embrace. Rest in peace beautiful one,” said one Maryn Ny in a post to Mbonimpa’s Facebook wall.

According to Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the president of Uganda sent his condolences through his twitter account and argued the boat was unlicensed “On behalf of all Ugandans, I send condolences to the families of the people who died in the accident on Lake Victoria last evening. According to preliminary information from the security services, this, apparently, was a private, unregistered, unlicensed and maybe uninsured boat.” Museveni Twitted.

More bodies are said to be trapped in the boat wreckage.

In September an overloaded ferry overturned in Lake Victoria, off the Tanzania coast, killing over 200 people.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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