Two Jinja pastors perish in road crash while returning from burial

Devotees of Elim Pentecostal Church in Jinja City prepare to depart for burials of three members who died in a road accident at the weekend. The trio, including two Pastors, were returning from a burial in Busia District and will be buried in different Ugandan districts on September 20, 2022. PHOTO/PHILIP WAFULA 

What you need to know:

  • The group was returning from Busia District, where they attended burial of the mother to one of the Church members.

The lead pastor of Elim Pentecostal Church in Walukuba-Masese Ward, Jinja South East Division, wants Police to reign in on errant sugarcane truck drivers after three Church members died in a road accident at the weekend.

Ms Rose Leku and Pastors Milton Mande and Henry Mansoswa died on spot when the vehicle in which they were traveling rammed into a stationary sugarcane truck at Bufulubi in Mayuge District.

Three other occupants of the vehicle, Ms Ketra Byaruhanga, Ms Christine Kirunda and Ms Harriet Babita, are recuperating from Nile International Hospital and Jinja Regional Referral Hospital.

The group was on Saturday night returning from Lumino in Busia District, where they attended the burial of the mother to one of the Church members, Ms Beatrice Anyango.

At the Church established in 1963, several followers struggled to hold back tears as they left for Kamuli, Mayuge and Rukungiri districts for all the burials scheduled for September 20.

Pastor Mansoswa will be buried at Bugodi Village, Mayuge District; Pastor Mande will be buried in Rukungiri, while Ms Leku will laid to rest in Namwendwa, Kamuli District.

Another renowned Pastor Fredrick Maka who was reported to have flown in from the US said: "The several sugarcane trucks that breakdown in the middle of the road need to always be towed away because they pose a danger to other road users."

"Many lives are at risk because when such trucks breakdown, they spend many days on the road. We surely need police intervention," Pastor Maka added.

Mr Wilbert Opwoya, a Church elder, said he received news of the accident at around 8:30pm and named Pastor Mansoswa as the driver of the ill-fated car.

Mr Alfred Muyinda, a church follower, alleged that the sugarcane truck driver didn't put reflectors on the road as standard procedure to alert oncoming motorists of an accident ahead.

Ms Diana Nandaula, the Busoga East Police Spokesperson, said sugarcane trucks which are in poor mechanical condition are always impounded but sometimes, they resort to using feeder roads scattered all over villages.

"…but also, drivers of small cars tend to over speed especially at night because they think they are alone on the road," Ms Nandaula observed.

She added that because most sugarcane trucks are overloaded, they tend to move very slowly, giving other road users an impression that they are stationary.

Hundreds of Ugandans perish in road carnages annually.