The recent heart-wrenching incident that led to the untimely demise of Mr. Bukuru Thomas at a deteriorated section of the Kabale-Kisoro road in Hamurwa Cell, Rubanda District, has shed a harsh light on the deplorable condition of crucial infrastructure in the region. This particular segment of the road serves as a vital artery connecting Uganda to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it is nothing short of a lifeline for the numerous communities it traverses.
The incident itself was a collision involving a trailer identified as RAF 5291/ RL 3794, a white Howo Sino truck with a low bed, and Mr. Bukuru Thomas, a 72-year-old Mukiga and resident of Hamurwa Cell, Hamurwa Town Council in Rubanda District, who tragically lost his life in the encounter.
According to preliminary reports, the calamitous accident unfolded as the trailer was hurtling along its route from Kisoro to Kabale town. Simultaneously, a speeding motorcycle was approaching from the opposite direction on the same lane. The precarious road conditions in that area left the motorcyclist with little choice but to encroach onto the trailer’s lane, resulting in a perilous collision course.
In a desperate attempt to avert an imminent head-on collision with the oncoming motorcycle, the trailer’s driver was forced to make a split-second decision to swerve towards the outermost edge of his lane. Tragically, this maneuver led to a devastating collision with a substantial stone barrier that had been strategically placed by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to deter road erosion and collapse.
Elly Maate, the spokesperson for the Kigezi region police, attributes the accident to careless driving and excessive speeding. He disclosed that the driver fled the scene before the arrival of law enforcement officers.
Maate further confirmed that the scene was visited by Asp Wakatuma, the District Traffic Officer for Rubanda, along with the assistance of IP Byarunga, the District Criminal Investigations Officer (DCIO), and the Scene of Crime Officers (SOCO), as well as members of the traffic team. The deceased’s body was transported to Hamurwa Health Center IV by vehicle UP 4678, where a postmortem was conducted and subsequently handed over to the relatives.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the government’s duty and responsibility to safeguard the welfare and lives of its citizens. It lays bare a grave oversight: the alarming lack of maintenance and repair efforts by UNRA on this vital lifeline. The dire consequence of this neglect is readily apparent, with one lane rendered impassable due to erosion, compelling vehicles to share the remaining, rapidly deteriorating lane.
In the absence of a safe and fully functional alternative route, motorists have been left with no recourse but to traverse treacherous terrain, where lives hang in the balance with each passing vehicle. This not only jeopardizes the safety of travelers but also exacts a toll on economic activities, trade, and vital cross-border connections with neighboring nations.
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