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Tuesday,July 07,2020 07:18 AM

Man with a bible rescued from debris  

By Simon Peter Tumwine

Added 12th May 2020 05:33 PM

By press time, the Police had also confirmed that 10 people had lost their lives in the accident that has been attributed to substandard construction procedures.

Man with a bible rescued from debris  

Police supporting one of the survivors (Isaac) after a building collapsed on them in Kansanga, Kampala on Sunday

By press time, the Police had also confirmed that 10 people had lost their lives in the accident that has been attributed to substandard construction procedures.

FATAL ACCIDENT 
 
KAMPALA - The building reportedly belonging to a one Abraham Kalanzi gave way on Saturday night, trapping 22 workers that had spent a night at the construction site. Kenny Mitanda is the latest of the four survivors that have been rescued with joint efforts between the Police, the Red Cross and residents  
 
The Police and the Uganda Red Cross (URC) yesterday rescued four victims from a three-storey building that collapsed over the weekend in Kiwempe zone- Kansanga in Makidye Division, Kampala. 
 
By press time, the Police had also confirmed that 10 people had lost their lives in the accident that has been attributed to substandard construction procedures. 
 
However, the Uganda Red Cross said 11 people had been confirmed dead and four were rescued. 
 
Irene Nakasita, the URC spokesperson, said on the second day of the search, three bodies were retrieved and one person rescued alive. 
 
"One person was rescued and referred to hospital. He did not have any injuries, and was found in a kneeling position with a Holy Bible. His words upon rescue were ‘Thank you, Lord'," Nakasita said in a WhatsApp message. The survivor was identified by Police as Kenny Mitanda. 
 
"Today, we have so far found one person alive and two dead.  However, we shall continue with the search, until we recover everyone that was in the building," the Kampala Metropolitan deputy Police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, told New Vision yesterday. 
 
The building reportedly belonging to a one Abraham Kalanzi gave way on Saturday night, trapping 22 workers that had spent a night at the construction site. 
 
Kenny Mitanda is the latest of the four survivors that have been rescued with joint efforts between the Police, Red Cross and residents in the neighbourhood. The Police identified the other survivors as Juma, Isaac and Kabanda. Details of the victims were still scanty.  
 
Isma Kalulu, Deo Muwaya, Yusuf Munwagi, Jackson Angela, Moses Sekirime, Lawrence, Cyrus, Umar, Juma and Isaac are among those confirmed dead. 
 
According to eye witnesses, Mitanda, who was covered in debris, was rescued at around 11:30am with a Bible lying beside him. 
 
"As the excavator was digging deep in search for others, the firemen noticed a man in a black shirt with a hand in motion, that is how they decided to pull him out. Mitanda who had a Bible beside him, was a foreman and a son of the site engineer," Ivan Kayita, a mason at the construction site, said. 
 
"As the excavator was digging the ground, we discovered a black shirt that had been covered with debris. Only to pull it out, we noticed it was a person who moved a finger," Kayita added, saying that the rescue team was filled with joy that another person was still alive. 
 
He said Mitanda was a foreman on the construction site and he was said to be related to the site engineer whose names they did not know. Kayita said Mitanda had a family in Nansana, Wakiso district. 
 
"We informed the occupation health and safety department under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to start inspecting all sites that are to be constructed, but they refused to listen to us," Mesilama Oloka, the general secretary of National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU), said. 
 
He said most of the safety issues that they raised were supposed to be followed, but were not taken up by the occupation health and safety department. 
 
"This kind of inspection should have been done before the building was constructed," Oloka said. 
 
He said: "I spoke to Pius Bigirimana, the former permanent secretary of the gender ministry and we agreed on the inspection of the construction sites, but it has not been done," Oloka said. 
 
"These people have to be compensated and Abraham Kalanzi, the owner of the building, should be charged in the courts of law," he said.
 
He said this is the time the workers' representatives have to take health and safety issues of workers very seriously. Our people want jobs, but the jobs that they are going to do must be decent and there should be clear procedures to be followed under the supervision of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the labour ministry. 
 
The KCCA spokesperson, Peter Kaujju, said yesterday that the authorities had ordered the developer to stop the construction. 
 
Kaujju promised to provide proof on the matter, but had not, by press time.

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