President Museveni has asked police to look for the person or company that owned the fuel tanker which crashed and burnt people and property in Kyambura Trading Centre in Rubirizi District on August 18 to compensate for the lives and property that were lost.
The fuel tanker from Eldoret in Kenya heading to Butembo in DR Congo lost control and crashed, burning four vehicles, over 30 houses and shops at around 3.20PM. At least 23 people were burnt to death and 15 were left with severe injuries.
Condoling with the residents of Rubirizi on Sunday at Kyambura Trading Centre, Mr Museveni said government will give each family that lost a person (or persons) in the fire Shs5 million.
The president pledged to give Shs1 million to each of those who were injured, and replace property of citizens that was lost. “In doing this government is caring for its citizens,’’ Mr Museveni said.
He added that information that has been obtained indicate that the vehicle was faulty, and asked police to pursue the owner (s) of the tanker, whose wreckage is still at the scene of the accident, to know whether it had comprehensive insurance so as to compensate for the loss.
“Compensation for loss of lives and property is supposed to be made by the owner of the company (that owned the tanker). You (leaders) are speaking as if the story ends there, it’s not like that. If a vehicle kills people and destroys property out of negligence (of the owner/driver) you (owner) compensate,” Mr Museveni said.
The driver of the fuel tanker was burnt to death while the turn man Abdullah Aziz Hassan Gulamu is nursing severe burns at Kampala International University Teaching Hospital in Bushenyi. In an interview with media and leaders on August 20, Mr Gulamu said they were carrying 9000 litres of diesel. He said the brakes failed to work and the tanker rammed into stationary vehicles.
“We have to get all these details, they are important…Police and government have to know the company (that owned the tanker) and insurance companies so that they compensate. If we find that they have been allowed to drive vehicles in Uganda without comprehensive insurance, it will be police to blame,” Mr Museveni said.
He added that there should be records and details of the fuel tanker at the (Uganda-Kenya) border. “We shall investigate and its owner will pay (for the loss),” Mr Museveni said.
Mr Museveni emphasized that if a vehicle kills a person or destroys property, the owner has to pay for the loss. He added that all those who want to own vehicles must know consequences of such negligence.
“Those who have vehicles ensure that the driver is well trained and it must be in very good condition, don’t just buy and drive,” Mr Museveni said.
He cautioned drivers to drive slowly and carefully in narrow sections of roads so at to avoid accidents. The Resident District Commissioner Ms Harriet Nakamya said six bodies were identified and buried by relatives, 16 were taken to the city mortuary, and eight people have come up for DNA testing so to identify their deceased relatives.
The Imam of Kyambura Mosque Swabul Nkonge said the mosque leadership has offered land where the unclaimed bodies will be buried.