Bodies of Rwandans killed in Uganda bus accident returned

Remains of three Rwandans who died in a bus accident in Uganda on Thursday night were last evening returned home by relatives.
Family and friends put the caskets containing the remains of the deceased onto an ambulance in Mulago Hospital in Kampala yesterday. (Gashegu Muramira)
Family and friends put the caskets containing the remains of the deceased onto an ambulance in Mulago Hospital in Kampala yesterday. (Gashegu Muramira)

Remains of three Rwandans who died in a bus accident in Uganda on Thursday night were last evening returned home by relatives.

Jacques Habiyambere, the driver of the ill-fated Rwanda-based Trinty Coaches bus, Eteline Uwamahoro, and another only identified as Kubwimana died on the spot in the gruesome accident when the bus they were travelling rammed into a truck, leaving 10 other Rwandans injured.

By midday, yesterday, relatives of both deceased and injured had arrived in Kampala to be with their loved ones.

Juliet Mukaruyange, a relative to one of the deceased, Eteline Uwamahoro, decried the delay by Trinity to clear the transportation of the bodies to Kigali.

The accident, blamed on speeding, occurred in Buwama in Mpigi District outside the Ugandan capital Kampala.

“We have been here since Thursday but we are yet to be cleared. By now we should have reached Kigali,” she said yesterday at 6pm (Ugandan time).

The two ambulances carrying the bodies left the mortuary at  around 7pm after officials from the Rwanda High Commission in Kampala intervened in securing  the travel documents.

Joseph Ndugu, another relative, said they rejected the earlier proposal by  by Trinity company to stuff all the bodies in one ambulance enroute to Kigali.

The bus company, which was due to meet the cost for the repatriation of the deceased back home, later agreed to hire two vans to bring the bodies.

“All transportation expenses have been met by Trinity. The two ambulances will transport  the bodies even beyond Kigali where the deceased will be buried,” said Jacque Mbabazi, an official with the bus  company.

By press time, many of the injured, who were admitted at Mulago Hospital and Rubaga Hospital, both in Kampala, had been steadily recovering, according to sources.

Speaking to The New Times, earlier yesterday, the area police spokesperson, Philip Mukasa,  attributed the accident to recklessness driving.

“It was a clear case of reckless driving. The bus driver was speeding and he lost control when he attempted to overtake the trailer,” Mukasa said, adding that the deceased were all Rwandans. Among the deceased included the driver, Jacques Habiyambere.

Mukasa said the bus, registration number RAC 403P, hit from behind the heavily loaded trailer, UAN 691F, that was carrying electric poles.

Earlier in the week, a bus belonging to Kampala Coach, one of the several transport companies that ply the cross-border route, was also involved in an accident in Uganda, killing two people on the spot.

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