Uganda to compensate Rubirizi fuel tanker Victims
Rubirizi fuel tanker accident: Uganda to give out Shs5m to each family that lost a life. File Photo

Rubirizi fuel tanker: Government to give out Shs5m to each family that lost a life following fuel tank explosion in Rubirizi district

Police have been instructed to hunt down the owners of the fuel tanker that claimed lives and properties in Kyabura Trading Centre, in Rubirizi District on August 18 after it’s an explosion.

The fuel tanker was from Eldoret in Kenya destined to Butembo in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

However, on its way, the driver lost control, crashed and burnt four vehicles, shops and over 30 houses at around 3:20 PM.

In this incident, at least 23 individuals lost lives after the fire from the explosion consumed them while 15 people sustained severe injuries.

Now according to president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, police should hunt down the owners of the company such that they compensate the victims of this accident.

President Museveni while condoling with Rubirizi residents at Kyambura Trading Centre on Sunday, he said that government will give out five million shillings to each family that lost a person in the fire.

And one million shillings to each injured person and replace their lost properties as well.

“In doing this government is caring for its citizens’,” Museveni said.

Museveni as well as informed residents that the police report indicates that the vehicle whose wreckage is still standing at the scene of the accident was in a poor mechanical condition.

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So, he asked the police to find out whether the vehicle had a comprehensive insurance cover, such that the losses are compensated for.

“Compensation for loss of lives and property is supposed to be made by the owner of the company (that owned the tanker). You (leaders) are speaking as if the story ends there, it’s not like that. If a vehicle kills people and destroys property out of the negligence of the owner/driver, you the owner compensate,” Museveni said.

According to President Museveni, if the report comes out that the vehicle had no comprehensive insurance, then the police will be the ones to blame for allowing them to drive in the country without comprehensive insurance cover.

“We have to get all these details, they are important…police and government have to know the company (that owned the tanker) and insurance companies, so that they compensate. If we find that they have been allowed to drive vehicles in Uganda without comprehensive insurance, it will be police to blame,” President Museveni said.

Museveni adds that police will investigate and find out the owners of the fuel tanker such that they pay for the losses.

He says the border officials at Kenya-Uganda border have such records.

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He also said that it’s the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle, to pay for the losses caused that includes the death of a person or destruction of properties.

He, however, argued all individuals who want to own vehicles too, first of all, find out the consequences related to negligence of such kind.

“Those who have vehicles ensure that the driver is well trained and it must be in very good condition, don’t just buy and drive,” Museveni said.

He also advised drivers to drive slowly and carefully in narrow roads to avoid such kinds of accidents.

Residents District Commissioner, Harriet Nakamya said so far six bodies have been identified by their relatives and buried, 16 bodies taken to the city mortuary and eight people have so far come for DNA testing to identify their dead relatives.

Meanwhile, Swabul Nkonge, the Imam of Kyambura Mosque said that the mosque leadership has offered land to bury the unclaimed bodies.

The fuel tanker drive died on the spot while the turn boy, Abdullah Aziz Hassan Gulamu survived death but sustained severe burn injuries and currently at Kampala International Teaching Hospital in Bushenyi receiving treatment.

Gulamu in an interview informed the media on August 20 that the driver lost control of the vehicle after the brakes failed, and as a result, the fuel tanker pushed into stationary cars and eventually the tank exploded.

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He says the fuel tank contained 9000 litres of diesel.