Kampala, Uganda: Two people died during a heavy down pour in Kampala this afternoon after part of the wall that encloses Namirembe Guest House collapsed on them, The New vision newspaper reports.
Namirembe Guest House is a property of the Church of Uganda and is situated near the Namirembe cathedral.
Police identified the deceased as Albert Nkabahita, aged 31 and his business associate Stella Jealobo, running a tour and travel firm.
The incident happened shortly after the funeral service for Prof. Apolo Nsibambi held at the cathedral attended by hundreds.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, confirmed that the duo was having coffee at Kaije Coffee bar and restaurant when the adjacent wall collapsed on them.
“The wall became weak due to the heavy rain and collapsed on them. Note that Namirembe Guest House has not collapsed, but it is the wall adjacent to Kaije cottages that collapsed,” Onyango stressed.
Police according to Onyango have opened up investigations to ascertain the cause of the incident.
“We have opened up investigations to see if there was rash and negligence on the part of the owner of the wall,” Onyango noted.
Survivors speak out
Jonathan Kizito was at Kaije cottages minutes before the incident happened but left after one of the attendants advised them to leave the cottages sensing danger.
“We were five in the cottages and the attendant advised us to live the area saying that when it rains, it blows directly into the cottages. The maid alerted my colleague Sarah who also came and informed me,” he said.
“We also inform the other guests, but the lady insisted that she knew the place and advised her male colleague to shift to another corner where we had been seated,” he explained.
“For us we came out and left three people there, two gents and a lady. Barely 20 minutes later we were told that the wall had collapsed and two people had died,” Kizito added.
Sarah Nakalema another survivor attendant at the restaurant declined to serve them food at the cottages warning that the place was very dangerous when it rains.
“After the warning by the attendant, we decided to leave the cottages to the main restaurant to have lunch. Then we got news of the wall collapsing,” she explained.
Godfrey Okobo, a fire prevention officer at fire rescue services, who oversaw the operation to retrieve the bodies and to search for any survivors along with a team from Uganda Red Cross and St. John Ambulance, revealed that the wall could have collapsed because of too much runoff water from the cathedral.
“Given that the water had no proper channel, it soaked the wall forcing it to give way,” Okobo said.
According to sources, the Police in January this year, advised the Namirembe church authorities and the guest house management to establish proper drainage system for the water flow.
When contacted the guest house management and the church authorities declined to comment saying that they were still waiting for police investigations report.