Kampala/Mukono. What began as a normal day unexpectedly turned tragic for State Water Minister Ronald Kibuule’s family when his twin boys, aged 2, last evening drowned in a swimming pool at home.
They were post-humously identified as Roman Kato and Raiding Wasswa.
“Yes, they drowned in the swimming pool, but we do not know what exactly happened because at the time of the incident the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras were off,” said Mr Davis Lukyamuzi, an uncle of the minister.
Both Mr Kibuule and his wife, Fortunate, were away. The guards at the palatial home said the kids were playing on the expansive compound and in the care of two male minders when they drowned.
One of the guards, speaking on condition of anonymity in order not to jeopardise ongoing investigations, said they were unaware about the presumed freak fatal accident until one of the minders yelled that “we are dead; the kids have drowned”.
The exact circumstances remain unclear. Police who responded to distress calls from the family and well-wishers took the two male domestic servants into custody for questioning.
They also retrieved the corpses and took them for embalming at the City Mortuary in Mulago, Kampala.
Minister Kibuule was at the time of the incident reported to be in Kampala while his wife, Fortunate, had reportedly driven to pay workers at a construction site in Namataba, which is a few kilometres from home.
They returned home in haste, and were visibly overcome by emotion and unable to speak on the tragedy.
Hundreds of mourners, many wailing loudly, milled on the compound and dozens trudged with hurried steps to the home located in Mbalala, some 30 kilometres on Kampala-Jinja highway. Its close location to the thoroughfare prompted police to deploy to regulate traffic flow as well as control the crowd.
A sediment of sorrow engulfed the constituency, which Mr Kibuule represents in Parliament, and some of the constituents stood frozen.
Women and men alike could be seen with hands clasped across their chests, and tears streamed endlessly on the cheeks of many who choked on words as they saturated in the pain of a parent losing twins in a family swimming pool. Others stood in small groups, speaking hush-hush.
Mukono District Police Commander, Mr Rogers Seguya, visited the home and inspected the swimming pool, which investigators are treating as a possible scene of crime.
But the influx of mourners and their unrestricted movements sign-posted the possibility that the area would be tampered with, complicating evidence gathering for police scene of crime officers.
Detectives, according to a highly-placed source, will seek to establish whether the surveillance cameras had malfunctioned prior or failed only on the fateful day.
They will also try to establish if the kids’ drowning was an accident or involved foul play.
In Kampala, deputy police spokesman Patrick Onyango said he would provide details about the fatal incident later today.
President Museveni as well as Mr Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of Parliament, telephoned to condole with the bereaved family, according Mr Lukyamuzi.
There was also outpouring of emotions and love on social media for the family of the relatively youthful minister.
Pictures of a jolly Kibuule, holding the twins and grinning, were shared on social media platforms and contrasted with the void created by their abrupt departure that momentarily turned life so forlorn for the grieving parents and relatives. Many were inconsolable.
“I sympathise with honourable Kibuule for the loss of his two beautiful twins. It’s a real tragedy. May their souls rest in peace,” Malik Kiberu posted on his facebook wall.
Another user of the social media platform, John Wasikye, posted in a status update that: “On my behalf and family [and] on behalf of our people here, we condole with you, Honourable Salongo Kibuule Ronald, and the people of Mukono for the untimely death of your little sons.”