Desperate relatives Sunday evening still waited for the bodies of family members who died on Lake Victoria.
By Henry Nsubuga
Desperate relatives were Sunday evening still waiting for the bodies of family members who are feared to have died in two separate boat accidents on Lake Victoria that occurred on Thursday.
About 21 people are thought to have perished when the passenger boats capsized in Buikwe and Buvuma districts.
Thirteen of the deceased were traders who were sailing from Ssenyi landing site in Buikwe to Luwero island in Buvuma district on Thursday night when their boat capsized in the lake and they reportedly drowned.
Police said that the boat capsized between Muwama and Lyabaana islands in Buvuma district.
The eight other bodies were of fishermen who drowned on L. Victoria in Bugaya sub-county, Buvuma district a week ago. Police said their bodies had not been retrieved from the lake by the time the second accident occurred.
The officer-in-charge of crime at Ssenyi Police post, Sam Munyuka said that only two people survived the Thursday night accident.
Munyuka blamed the accident on overloading and the poor weather which caused visibility problems.
He identified the survivors as Matthias Kakooza, a resident of Kateete village in Najja sub-county in Buikwe district and Bernard Kizza a resident of Nakawaali village in Ssi Bukunja sub-county, Buikwe.
According to Police, the survivors hang on plastic jerrycans from where they were rescued by fishermen who had gone to fish on the lake.
Police identified some of deceased as John Terimba, Balunabba, Ayubu Tayire (24), John Lusongoza alias Savimbi, Mutabaazi, Alamanzani Musana.
The deceased are believed to be residents from different districts, including Buikwe, Mukono, Jinja and Mbarara.
By Sunday, the relatives of the missing traders were still camped at Ssenyi Landing Site, waiting for updates from the Police.
Karim Muwaya, the father of Ayubu Tayire, one of the victims, explained that his son was a businessman and that he had taken mobile phones to the islands.
He has lost two sons on the lake.
"This is my second son to perish on the lake. After the death of the first one, I warned this one against going to the islands and he told me that he had stopped dealing on the lake,” Muwaya a resident of Jinja said.
“I was shocked when I received news that he was among the traders who had drowned on the lake."
Lameka Kigozi, the Police spokesperson for Central and Eastern region, said that they had instructed the Marine Police section from Entebbe to join the search for the bodies of the missing persons.
Police reports show that none of the boat occupants was wearing a life-saving jacket.
Munyuka said that the Police would launch an operation in which owners of the passenger boats without life-saving jackets will be arrested.
21 confirmed dead in L. Victoria boat accidents