A June 14 fatal crash involving one of the cars of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II’s convoy in Naama, Mityana has forced a rethink in Mengo.
Kingdom officials now want police to rein-in the overly enthusiastic boda boda cyclists and other motorists that follow the Kabaka’s convoy on every tour. The accident killed at least two people as the Kabaka’s convoy returned to Kampala from Mubende, escorted by frenzied boda boda riders. The Kabaka had just commissioned this year’s edition of the Masaza football tournament.
“The police should enforce the law it is as if it has now become a custom that every time the Kabaka moves out of the Lubiri [palace], some people have to die. We feel this must stop, the boda bodas are becoming a menace,” kingdom Spokesman Denis Ssengendo Walusimbi told The Observer on Monday.
In total, four people died on Saturday. The first deaths occurred earlier in the day as the Kabaka headed to Buwekula county in Mubende.
“They are too reckless, and many of them are always under the influence of alcohol, and the police just look on as if there are no traffic regulations,” Walusimbi said.
“Some of them may compromise the Kabaka’s security, I think it is high time the police acted,” he said.
Police Spokesman Fred Enanga said yesterday that police cannot take the blame for the hooliganism that comes with the excitement of Kabaka’s tours.
“We have always played our part ensuring that the Kabaka is secure and safe. Yes, there will be interference with his convoy but it is up to the Mengo officials to control the subjects that come with all sorts of hooliganism,” Enanga said.
The accident at Naama, according to Walusimbi, was caused by a boda boda rider who lost control and cut through the Kabaka’s convoy. The cyclist was carrying a woman and a sack of maize.
“It was a market day at Naama and as the Kabaka’s convoy approached, the market-goers burst into excitement. Among them was that cyclist who tried to go past a stationary trailer and the sack he was carrying got trapped on the fringes of the trailer, he zigzagged in the road and hit one of the vehicles in the convoy,” Walusimbi said.
Four kingdom officials: a UPDF soldier in charge of the Kabaka’s umbrella only identified as Makanga, and three caretakers of the Nnamulondo (Kabaka’s throne), were consequently admitted to Mulago hospital. They suffered serious injuries after their vehicle, a pickup double-cabin truck carrying the throne, rolled several times on the road.
Police has ruled out foul play as one of the causes of the accident, blaming it entirely on reckless driving. The head of Traffic and Road Safety, Stephen Kasiima, is now planning engagements with VIP drivers.
“We have found a problem with drivers of these VIP convoys there is an element of reckless driving and we are planning to proactively get involved with them with hope of minimizing accidents,” Enanga said.
Source : The Observer