A survivor tells his tale

Monday July 12 2010

By Richard Wanambwa


“We have three minutes left to the end of...,” before the commentator could finish his words, two blasts in quick succession engulfed Kyadondo Rugby Club, which had sat close to 3,000 people watching the World Cup finals.

After the first blast, which occurred slightly on the sidelines of the crowded area, many people ducked under their chairs, some lying down and using the chairs as shelter. Barely a minute later, I heard the second blast, right in the middle of the crowd. It was more ear-piercing and louder.

My neighbour, a young man probably in his early thirties, wearing jeans and a T-shirt, who had been sipping a Guinness beer, had tried to dash to the middle of the pitch after the first blast. The last I saw of him was his body being raised by the second blast before he fell down, still. He was dead.
What had been a football party turned into a sea of chaos. A blanket of smoke hung over the field, with wails and groans being the signature sound.

On my knees, I began crawling towards what I thought was an exit. I saw corpses, many still seated in their chairs—like they were still watching the game. My hands felt human flesh lying on the ground, some of it sticking on my palms as I waded through the mass of humanity. Some of the human flesh kept falling from above, like drops of rainfall, falling on my back.

The shouts of “bomb! bomb!” continued to ring in the air. I lay down for a while and when I saw policemen begin to wave to people to leave, I dashed out, relieved that I was alive but shocked that anyone would bring such a great party to an agonising bloody end.