Four Kenyan pilgrims die in Uganda crash, 5 injured

Sunday May 26 2019

Accident

The vehicle that knocked and killed four Kenyan pilgrims from the Anglican Diocese of Bungoma on Iganga-Jinja highway in Uganda on May 26, 2019. PHOTO | DAVID AWORI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GAITANO PESSA
By GAITANO PESSA
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Four pilgrims from the Bungoma Catholic Diocese died on Sunday morning after they were knocked down by a speeding matatu along the busy Iganga-Jinja highway in Uganda.

Two of them died on the spot, while two others passed on upon arrival at Iganga Hospital, Uganda.

The accident which occurred at Bulanga in Mayuge district, Uganda, left five others with serious injuries.

They were part of over 150 pilgrims from Naitiri and Kisoko Parishes who were trekking to Namugongo.

ACCIDENT

Ms Beatrice Nalongo, a traffic police officer at Mayuge, who confirmed the accident, identified the dead as Roseline Wanjala and Geoffrey Ogwanga.

"The identities of the other two who died in hospital is yet to be established," she said.

Martyrs Day.

A section of pilgrims from Kenya arrive at Namugongo in Kampala, Uganda, on May 25, 2019 for this year’s Martyrs Day. PHOTO | DAVID AWORI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The driver of the speeding taxi that was heading to Iganga from Jinja has since been arrested.

UGANDAN MARTYRS

The bodies were moved to Iganga Hospital mortuary while the injured are receiving treatment at the hospital’s intensive care unit.

This is the second time Kenyan pilgrims are killed in a motor accident.

Two people were knocked dead in Mabira Forest in Buikwe District in the previous pilgrimage as they walked to Namugongo for the annual event.

Every year, pilgrims from different parts of the country trek to Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine at Namugongo in Kampala for Martyrs’ Day which is marked on June 3.

Mr John Opondo from Kisoko said: “It was raining and the road was so slippery when the accident happened.”

Another survivor said, the driver knocked the pilgrims on the roadside.

FAITH

A female pilgrim said despite the accident, they would proceed to Namugongo.

"We must fulfil the desire of our heart and pray for those who have lost their lives and those who got injured because of their faith," she said.

Traffic police warned drivers on the route drive carefully. 

Following the accident, Uganda Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola ordered police escort for all Kenyan pilgrims walking to Namugongo.  

“The pilgrims will be escorted from district to district by police officers who will hand them over to their colleagues,” said Mr Ochola.