Link Bus accident death toll rises to 23

The wreckage of Link Bus that was involved in a fatal accident yesterday is towed away. Photo / Alex Ashaba

What you need to know:

  • The Link Bus spokesperson, Mr Tom Best Alinde, said on Monday, Christopher Kyomuhedo of Ibale, Fort Portal City, died at Mulago National Referral Hospital.

The Link Bus Company has confirmed that the number of people who perished in a fatal accident involving one of their vehicles on Fort Portal-Kyenjojo road on May 4 has risen to 23.

The Link Bus spokesperson, Mr Tom Best Alinde, said on Monday, Christopher Kyomuhedo of Ibale, Fort Portal City, died at Mulago National Referral Hospital.

The Minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala, blamed the accident on speeding.

On May 5, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja told Parliament that the government would compensate the bereaved families and survivors.

“This is really a matter of national importance.  I am going to use my powers as Prime Minister to see that we provide support to the victims,” Ms Nabbanja said.

However, some of the victims have expressed concern over government’s delay to send the compensation.

In an interview with Daily Monitor yesterday, Ms Annet Karungi, 24, whose seven-year-old child Derick Mujuni perished in the accident, said she has never received support from government or the Link Bus company.

Ms Karungi also sustained injuries on the head, arms, neck, and back.

 “We have so far spent more than Shs2 million on treatment. We hired a private vehicle to take us to Mbarara hospital at Shs1 million and they tell us to buy drugs from pharmacies,” she said.

Ms Jane Kyomuhedo from Ntoroko District, whose seven-year-old daughter Keroni Basemera passed away hours after the accident, said she spent more than Shs1.5 million on medical care.

Ms Diana Kusiima, a survivor who was recently discharged from hospital, said she spent more than Shs700,000 on medical care.

“I have never received a call from government that they want my particulars. It is the company I work for that helped. I also used some of my money to pay for X-Ray services in a private facility,” she said.

Mr Geoffrey Bitamirwe who lost three children in the accident, said: “My wife is still at home in pain trying to nurse wounds. We are financing our medical bills and I have so far spent more than Shs700,000,” he said.

Link speaks out

Mr Alinde said: “As a company we are trying our best to see that all the people who were involved in the accident are compensated, we have linked 19 victims to UAP insurance company for compensation and we are continuing to support them. Some families are still telling us to wait.”

He added that they gave between Shs500,000 and Shs1 million to 17 families that lost their loved ones in the accident. He said they also transported the bodies of the deceased for burial.

He said they get new victims of the accident every day and are verifying them for compensation.

govt reacts

When contacted, Mr Julius Mucunguzi, the spokesperson of the Office of the Prime Minister, said his boss never promised that the government would compensate the victims.

“Supporting is different from compensation and the Prime minister mentioned support which was done. She called a meeting and organised all the ambulances to help all those victims who needed to be evacuated for specialised services and this was done,” he said.

When asked about supporting families that lost their people, Mr Mucunguzi said he will first find out to see if they were supported.