Museveni orders compensation of dead Kenyan pilgrims

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Museveni and Janet arriving at Serena

President Museveni has directed Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs, Kirunda Kivejinja, to get in touch with the families of four Kenyan pilgrims knocked dead enroute to Namugongo for Martyrs Day celebrations.

A commuter taxi knocked dead four and critically injured ten others along the Iganga-Tororo highway on Sunday morning at Waina village in Mayuge district.   

The deceased Kenyan victims were identified as; Sarah Adiambo, Godfrey Abaga, Kevinah Akila, and Roselyn Mutunga. 

The deceased were part of 106 elderly pilgrims mainly from Bungoma Catholic diocese in Bungoma county in Kenya.

In 1998, a Kenyan pilgrim identified as John Kibe was knocked dead by a speeding taxi at Lwankima along the Jinja-Kampala highway on his way to Namugongo.

Ever since, Kenyan pilgrims hold special prayers in memory of Kibe annually as they walk to Namugongo shrines.

While delivering the State of the Nation Address Thursday at Serena Conference Centre in Kampala, President Museveni said Uganda will compensate them because they were killed inside Uganda territory.

Museveni said the peaceful hosting of Martyrs Day celebrations on June 3 – with all its security challenges because its pre-publicised shows that the security capacity of the country has improved and police is steadily being cleaned of weevils.

The president started his speech with a moment of silence for those departed including former Prime Minister Professor Apolo Nsibambi.

Among other deaths, he cited The Late Hon. Col (Rtd) Ibrahim Abiriga, Member of Parliament, Arua Municipality; The Late Rt. Rev. Cyprian Kikunhi Bamwoze, Bishop Emeritus of Busoga Diocese; The Late Rt. Reverend. Augustine Arapyona Salimo, Bishop Emeritus of Sebei Diocese; The Late Assistant Superintendent of Police, Muhammad Kirumira and The Late Ambassador Julius Onen, the Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives.

He also cited more than 31 people who died when a party boat capsized on Lake Victoria and Bududa people that lost lives in the mudslide; and more others.

“Madam Speaker, I request that we all stand up and observe a moment of silence in memory of the departed persons. May the Almighty God rest their souls in eternal peace,” he said.

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