Beach owners query Entebbe deaths

Thursday December 31 2015

Beach owners listen to instructions and

Beach owners listen to instructions and guidelines by the Entebbe District Police Commander Geoffrey Ninsiima during a meeting between beach owners, police, Resident District Commissioner and the Entebbe Mayor. They were urged to always have marine personnel, divers, demarcated points and marked swimming jackets, among others. Photo by Joseph Kato 

By ANDREW BAGALA

Kampala/Entebbe. Several questions remain unanswered on how 13 people could have drowned and only one person reported missing in a two-day span at three beaches in Entebbe Municipality.
Beach managers said they believe bodies could have been brought from different areas and dumped near their beaches or drifted with the lake waves from afar.

Mr David Kanonya, Lido Beach’s manager, said on Christmas and Boxing Day, they deployed three marine personnel and divers who ensured the safety of patrons and swimmers at the shore.
“The security team and I left the beach at around 4am. We only received one person who told us that his relative had gone swimming at Aero Beach and was missing. He asked us to call him in case we saw the body,” Mr Kanonya said.
Mr Joseph Omuna, Sports Beach manager, also doubts the circumstances the victims drowned basing his argument on the fact that there was no person who complained of a missing person in the period.

“I believe the bodies were just brought by the water waves,” Mr Omuna said.
Referring to the 1994 Rwanda genocide where bodies floated from Rwanda to Uganda, Mr C. L. Kodet, the Aero Beach’s director, believes the bodies could have drowned from a different area and brought by water waves.
Police spokesman, Mr Fred Enanga, said “eyewitnesses told police that some of the revellers refused to leave the waters and decided to swim far from the shores where they couldn’t be limited,”
Police said only one person was reported missing. But the rest of the deceased people were picked on Sunday evening and Monday morning.

A senior police pathologist, Dr Moses Byaruhanga, who supervised the autopsy on the bodies, insisted the cause of the death by the recovered bodies was drowning. By yesterday, 12 bodies had been claimed from the city morgue.
Only four victims were identified as: Brian Nsubuga, 22, a resident of Kayunga District; Allan Mubiru, 17, a resident of Nateete, a Kampala suburb; Abubaker Ffensolyian a resident of Kawempe also a Kampala suburb; Haruna Mubiru; Ssula Kato; Arafat Kabonge; Richard Ssenyondo and Abdul Wakayeli.

Though the police and Entebbe Resident District Commissioner said they had closed Lido, Spennah, Aero and Sports beaches on Tuesday, yesterday entertainment was going at the named beaches.
Mr Dennis Abitekaniza of Freedom Beach said he had already paid a ticket for a Nigerian dancehall Singer Eko for a show at his beach. “This is a joke. I cannot allow losing out business yet the bodies were not picked from my beach. Secondly, people have always died in water and that will continue happening regardless of what measures put in place,” Mr Abitekaniza said.

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